Lots of shops have ranges where you can rent weapons to try them out.
People seem to like shotguns for home defense. I don’t actually have a shotgun, though.
For an all-purpose handgun, get a 9mm — Glock, Walther, S&W, Heckler & Koch. My personal choice is the HK P30. A little expensive, but extremely reliable.
I like .45s a lot — particularly 1911s — but, since you’re getting one for the both of you, get a 9mm instead. The .45 is just not a womens’ caliber — too much bang for her small frame. My wife doesn’t like the .45 at all.
My soon-to-be 16 year old daughter begs to differ. She knows her way around a 1911.
A real deal-breaker for anyone are the sharply checkered grips common on older handguns. Even shooting a .380 can get tedious if the grips are biting. I mind shooting a checkered .38 far more than shooting a smooth .45. I guess you eventually get used to it, or get gloves.
My wife is 5'2" and 112lbs. She picked out a 45 ACP Compact for her conceal carry pistol. Back when I met her in 1978 the first pistol she fired was my Colt 1911. she never looked back.
My daughter, 5'6" and 100lbs, also picked a compact 45 ACP. It seems the women in my family not only can handle but also like the larger calibers.