While we love chocolate and flowers as much as the next person, we enjoy Galentine’s Day that little bit more. A chance to celebrate the power of female friendship and let the women in our life know how much we value and appreciate them.

And what better way to express this than with a book list! We asked our 2023 Women’s Prize for Fiction judges what books they like to turn to that are filled with love, friendship and a little bit of romance. From Jane Austen to Helen Fielding this booklist is a celebration of friendship in all its forms.

Bridget Jones Diary

by Helen Fielding

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‘My favourite female friendship in literature is Bridget Jones with her friends Shaza. I mean, they are epic, what I love about Shaza. And it’s Shaza who for me is the real friend really. It’s that she’s hugely supportive. She’s very direct, and you always know whatever goes wrong, she’s going to pick up the pieces. So if I had a friend, and I do have one like Shaza that is who I want.’

Louise Minchin

Sense and Sensibility

by Jane Austen

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‘I would say that the best portrayal of friendship is Sense and Sensibility with the Dashwood sisters, and I maintain that that is a friendship as well as a sister ship.’

Bella Mackie


by Jane Austen

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‘Emma’s befriending of Harriet, I love this friendship because it’s portrayed by Jane Austen with such wit, and panache and spike.’

Rachel Joyce

Anita and Me

by Meera Syal

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‘There’s a book called Anita and Me in which there’s a lot of talk about female friendship and how it supports you and gets you through life. And for someone like me, who relies on my huge network of women to get through life, it’s a story that really speaks to me.’

– Tulip Siddiq


by Toni Morrison

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Sula by Toni Morrison between now and solar are two young black girls growing up in a black Ohio town, and it looks at their friendship over time, but the friendship disintegrates. And what’s so brilliant about this novel is is it looks at complex female friendship and the pressures that a small town and that kind of hierarchical society imposes on that friendship.’

Irenosen Okojie