Strong Female Characters in Corriveau’s The Demanding River

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Contemporary Fiction | 0 comments

Photo by Oleksandr P

The Demanding River by Cheryl J. Corriveau is replete with strong female characters, each embodying an aspect of femininity and human endeavor to convey personal journeys.

The phrase “strong, independent woman” has become quite the cultural shorthand. If you go searching for it, you’ll find this particular sequence of words plastered on mugs, printed on T-shirts, thrown around in silly conversations, and you might even hear it weaponized during debates. Yet nowhere are strong independent women so clearly depicted than in fiction. However, their portrayals are quite varied and nearly limitless.

But what does it truly mean to be a strong, independent woman? What does it mean to be like Jordan Harris and her contemporaries?

Perhaps the first step in understanding the complexity of this concept is to break it down. By understanding them through the lens of fiction, strong, independent women become quite interesting subjects of study. 

Their strength doesn’t solely reside in physical prowess or emotional resilience. It encompasses intellectual fortitude, the courage to face fears, the unwavering pursuit of convictions, and the ability to rise above adversity. Independence transcends financial self-sufficiency or the absence of romantic entanglements. It speaks to self-awareness, the freedom to make choices based on personal values, and the power to define one’s own path.

Knowing Strong Female Characters

However, the qualities that strong female characters embody don’t exist in a vacuum. They are shaped by the unique flavor of experiences each woman creates throughout her life. Cultural expectations, societal norms, personal challenges, and individual aspirations all contribute to the vibrant mosaic of what it means to create strong female characters.

But the narrative doesn’t only end with celebrated figures. It extends to the countless women navigating everyday challenges–the single mother juggling work and childcare, the entrepreneur defying industry norms, the artist carving her own creative space. Their stories, whispered and untold, are testaments to the quiet strength and everyday independence that fuel countless journeys.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that strength and independence are not linear paths. They are constantly influenced by life’s triumphs and tribulations. Seeking support, building communities, and embracing vulnerability are not antithetical to these qualities but rather integral aspects of navigating life’s complexities.

Therefore, the label of strong female characters becomes a nuanced spectrum rather than a fixed definition. It encompasses the quiet resilience of the single mother, the audacious aspirations of the entrepreneur, and the collaborative spirit of the community organizer. The label celebrates the woman who embraces her vulnerabilities, the woman who seeks support, and the woman who defines success on her own terms. It is a reflection of the history of women’s struggles.

Corriveau’s The Demanding River

In The Demanding River by Cheryl J. Corriveau, feisty and energetic Jordan Harris is a highly motivated woman with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Trouble is brewing when several issues regarding her real estate franchise arise. During all this trouble, she gets an invitation to open up a boat dealership in Central Florida. Although Jordan isn’t interested at first, she is quite intrigued by the idea.

Now, it’s six months later, and she’s determined to leave the real estate business to try to open up her own boat dealership. This novel is full of strong female characters, each trying to make their place in the world. 

While Jordan is an experienced real estate broker, she’s ill-prepared for this new playing field. She must overcome this male-dominated business and rise out successful. From stolen boats to mysterious deaths and more, her attempt to make a name for herself in between Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and beyond will be a tough, uphill battle.

The Demanding River has many twists and turns, each surprise pushing readers to the edge of their seats. You’ll be wondering what will happen next at each turn of the page. Will Jordan succeed? Will her business survive? 


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