Thursday, October 4, 2012

One Tough Lady: Natalie from The Boneshaker

Celebrating female characters, fictional and non-, that inspire us to be brave, be strong, and generally be the best selves we can because they are so awesome.

Who is she?
            Natalie Minks, heroine of The Boneshaker by Kate Milford.

Why is she so awesome?
  • Natalie is brave. Even when faced with terrifying enemies like the chilling Dr. Limberleg and the denizens of his Nostrum Fair, Natalie swallows her fear and does what needs to be done.
  • Natalie does not give up. She loves the custom Chesterlane Eidolon bicycle that her dad builds for her, even though she can’t ride it. The bike is large and nearly impossible to balance. But that doesn’t stop her from trying. And she keeps on trying, even though she falls again and again. Until....but that would be telling.
  • Natalie trusts her instincts. Although most of the town is excited to attend the fair and try its medicines, Natalie senses that all is not right. And even when her own father—who she trusts and idolizes above all others—gets caught up in the homeopathic fever, Natalie still sets herself against the easy answers promised at the Nostrum Fair.
  • Natalie isn’t swayed by the unfair opinions of others. Most people avoid the elderly guitar player Tom Guyot due to rumors of long-ago entanglements with demons. But Natalie approaches him and ends up making a powerful friend.
  • Natalie is willing to admit when she is wrong. She begins the book annoyed by, and not really friends with, Miranda, mostly because Miranda is the only one of her peers who questions her and doesn’t believe she can actually ride her bicycle. But Miranda proves her loyalty time and again, and Natalie ends the story trusting her as a comrade.

Should I read The Boneshaker just so I can spend time with her?
            Absolutely. And if you also enjoy old-timey Americana, bicycles, crossroads demons, and a light dusting of steampunk, that’s just an added bonus for you.

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