Happy Mother’s Day (2 days late)! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) is all about literary mothers. It was a hard list to make, because so many of the books I read either have dead mothers, absentee mothers, abusive mothers…you get the picture. But here are nine of my favourite literary moms (sorry, I couldn’t come up with a tenth)!
Mrs. Gaines from Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
I love Mrs. Gaines. She cares so much, and she tries so hard. She is hilariously meddlesome (hilarious to the reader…not so hilarious to Greg). She wants what’s best for Greg, and she holds fiercely to her principles as she tries to turn him into an upstanding member of society. Greg is very lucky to have a mom who cares so much.
Stepmother from Three Souls by Janie Chang
Stepmother comes from a place of extreme disadvantage – a concubine in a post-World War I Chinese household, and shrewdly takes power for herself. But rather than do what a lot of stepmothers in this position would do in a story, she shares the power and wisdom that she gains with her stepdaughters. She could be bitter and negligent, or even malicious, but she chooses to be a positive role model in her stepdaughters’ lives.
Molly Weasley from The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
I know that pretty much everyone is going to have Molly Weasley on their list, but it`s because she deserves it. This woman fiercely loves both her biological children and the children that have been brought into her life. She is one of the few people in the series who truly loves Harry, not Harry Potter. She is so protective, the epitome of the Mama Bear, and she goes all in.
Ysabeau from The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Similar to Molly Weasley, Ysabeau is a fiercely protective mother, and once you have become a part of her family, she`s in for the long haul. Ysabeau is a force to be reckoned with, and that`s not just because she`s a vampire.
Maura Sargent from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
Maura Sargent is one of the coolest moms I’ve ever read. She’s a psychic, whose home is filled with countless other lady psychics, and she empowers her daughter to be a woman who is strong in her convictions and individuality. And did I mention she’s psychic?
Eleanor Edevane from The Lake House by Kate Morton
Part of what I loved about Eleanor was how we got to meet her both before she had her children, and after she was in full mom-mode. Eleanor sacrificed everything for her children, and I loved getting to know her, and see her spirit change and grow as her children grew.
Marilla Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Marilla is strict, and she is firm in her convictions. She has a no-nonsense approach to life, and even though this causes her to butt heads with Anne, it is so clear how much she cares for Anne. She refuses to indulge Anne in every passing whim, but she shows Anne how to appreciate the realities of life. I feel like if it weren’t for Marilla, Anne’s spirit would have been completely crushed by disappointment.
Marmee March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Marmee raised all four March girls while her husband was away with the army, and she raised them to be intelligent and strong and kind. She encouraged and supported each of her daughters to grow in their strengths, and she gently guided them through their misadventures.
Mrs. Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I feel like Mrs. Dashwood doesn’t get enough credit. She was widowed and kicked out of her home before any of her three daughters were married, and she makes the best of it. I think that the biggest testament to her strength as a mother is the fact that the reader doesn’t realise just how much Mrs. Dashwood is going through. She does her best to calm Marianne down, and does her best to try and draw Elinor out. To be perfectly honest, if my husband died and then my stepson kicked me out of my home, I would probably retreat into myself and be completely useless, especially if my children were fairly self-sufficient. Mrs. Dashwood keeps moving forward, and she deserves a major shout out.
Who are your favourite book moms?