I enjoy reading novels about women, though it seems like there is a  rash of successful ones with the word “girl” in the title, offering unreliable narrators, ambiguous protagonists, and dizzying plot twists. So it’s a relief to recommend novels offering enthralling tales about brave young heroines without these devices.

Though the art of war may have changed through the use of cyber technology, a new bestseller demonstrates that conflicts between men and women remain stubbornly familiar. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah begins in 1974. Her protagonist is a young teenager as who falls in love with the supportive, sensitive boy-next-door, literally the only boy next door. Matthew is both her nearest neighbor and also the only other teen in her class, because they live on a remote part of the Kenai Peninsula, in an equally remote…

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