I guess it just goes to show that you can take the girl out of the archetype, but you can't take the archetype out of the girl, because to me, writing her, it seemed that Jenny was, like many women, defined by her relationships: daughter, sister, lover, foster-mother, friend... cat-owner. *g* The entire book and all her motivations revolve around those relationships and responsibilities, and those relationships are consistently used by other characters--well meaning, and not so well meaning--to jerk her around.
If anything, the loner in the book would have to be Elspeth, and even she, as hard as she fights to free herself from familial responsibilities, is controlled by them.
But I guess it's a matter of expections: a gritty book must have a gritty protagonist, and a gritty protagonist is by definition alone.
I know, it's not much of an epiphany, but it hit me while I was driving home from work, and it's, in the very least, interesting to me.
[spock voice] Fascinating.[/spock voice]