Time traveling heroines are becoming big in fiction, thanks to Claire and Jamie in Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. Romance in another century is delicious, but I’m most captivated by women who time travel with adventure on their minds. Do you too like stories about women who venture into history to become heroes? To possibly fall in love in the distant past, but who choose not to stay in a century cruel to women? Then you’re my kind of time travel reader! Some of my favorite time travel books featuring strong women:
- A cell phone toting scientist, Doomsday, Connie Wills
- A literary archaeologist, The Jane Austen Project, Kathleen A. Flynn
- A neurosurgeon discovering the sources of the medieval Plague, The Scribe of Siena, Melodie Winawer
- A time traveling witch who meets Shakespeare and his circle, Shadow of Night, Deborah Harkness
Check out these adventurous women and the people in history they meet, how they maneuver through time paradoxes, and when they happen upon love, though romance isn’t their goal. In novels of the past, women weren’t featured as time travelers. One of my favorite time travel stories, Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, has the husband doing the time traveling. But if you’re like me, and you like time traveling heroines, I’ve got some lists for you! Of course, these lists all need to add my novel The Renaissance Club.
Time Travel Novels Featuring Strong Women
You can book up your winter reading from these lists alone! If not every book in these lists has a woman as its main, time traveling character, most feature strong women characters.
Why Modern Women Shouldn’t Time Travel
Then there’s the alternate view of time traveling women as anti-heroines, many of whom have little to no sense of self-preservation. I have to say, my book should NOT be on this list, as my heroine May Gold has a healthy sense of the dangers of remaining in the past. But magical realism fiction doesn’t tell stories literally. And stories of romance end in the arbitrary point in time where happy-ever-after is seemingly eternal — as love really is.
However, if you worry about time traveling because of the discomforts and injustices of earlier times, you might enjoy this article:
My character has to figure out what to do about the love of her life being in a past century that was a pretty brutal time for women. Staying in the 17th century is out of the question. But what other choice does she have? She gives him up, of course, with a parting gift she hopes might change his timeline and history. But time and history are more creative than linear, and the twist ending surprises them both.