My SF may not be quite what you are looking for. I do have a female MC, and a major plot point is her need to come to terms with a tragedy she has caused, something that makes her far stronger in the end. However it is hard rather than soft SF.
You might check out Salvage by Alexandra Duncan. It’s one of the 2014 books nominated for the Andre Norton Award. I think it hits most of what you’re looking for. It wasn’t my favorite of the books I read last year, but I do suggest people look at it for themselves.