From the Vault: Celebrate Gal-entine’s Day with Books About Strong Female Characters and Friendships

Every year, around the beginning of February, our social feeds are filled with articles about couples–about giving the greatest gift and planning the perfect date and so on and so forth. It brings to mind fluttering eyelashes and swooning and swinging dresses and antiquated rules of courtship. And for one day a year, I guess it’s OK to enjoy a little chivalry and layer on a bit of smaltz.

But if, this year, you decide that’s not your cup of tea, why don’t you take a minute to appreciate “Gal-entine’s Day”–a celebration of strong women and female friendships. Here are a few books from a variety of genres to get you in the spirit.


Graphic Novel

by Megan Speers

Follow a somewhat unlikely heroine who embraces the surprisingly inclusive communal aspects of the punk counterculture in northwestern Ontario in the 1990s. From bush parties to dumpster diving, the bold wood engravings that make up this book depict hardscrabble yet happy lives.

The Museum of Possibilities

Short Fiction

The Museum of Possibilities
By Barbara Sibbald

Barbara Sibbald’s female characters in The Museum of Possibilities are no shrinking violets. From ambitious researchers to small-town housewives plotting death by dairy, these women are unafraid to seize their own happiness. Sibbald’s stories also explore the power of female friendships and the ways in which they shape our identities.

The Deep


The Deep
By Mary Swan

A story of twin sisters embarking on a journey to a France ravaged by World War I, to work where they are needed. Exposed to horror, confusion and tragedy, their relationship with one another is tested and profoundly changed.

Hand Luggage


Hand Luggage
by P. K. Page

A talented, clever and exceedingly passionate individual, P. K. Page lived an adventurous life full of travel to exotic locales. Her memoir in verse is a testament to the strength of character needed to survive and even thrive in a life of constant upheaval.

PortraitI am positive you and your best gal pal will find something of interest in here so that you can spend a happy Gal-entine’s staying in, reading a good book in the company of a few good fictional women!


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The Porcupine's Quill would like to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. The financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) is also gratefully acknowledged.