Congratulations to Michael Cooper, winner of last week's Friday Freebie, Whitetail Nation by Pete Bodo.
The Heroine's Bookshelf by Erin Blakemore. The subtitle of Blakemore's handsome little book is "Life Lessons, From Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder," and lest you think this is an owner's manual on how to live a richer, fuller life, it's closer to a book-club gabfest over coffee cake and champagne with a bunch of your smartest, funniest friends who love to chat about books. Blakemore talks as much about character development as she does empowerment. Each chapter is devoted to a single character in a single book, which include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, and The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson Burnett. As Kelly O'Connor McNees (author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott) says in her dust-jacket blurb, "Reading The Heroine's Bookshelf feels like attending that dinner party you've always dreamed of, where your favorite authors and their literary creations sit around talking late into the night."
If you'd like the chance to add Blakemore's book to your own bookshelf, all you have to do is answer this question:
Who is your favorite female character in a work of fiction (contemporary or classic)?
Email your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org
Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line. One entry per person, please. Please e-mail me the answer, rather than posting it in the comments section. The contest closes at midnight on Jan. 6, at which time I'll draw the winning name. I'll announce the lucky reader on Jan. 7.