Memorable (To Me) Mothers in Fiction

I love being a Mother! But I’ll be honest, lots of days I fail at the job of mothering. Being a mother is hard. There have been many times I’ve wished I was in possession of a psychology degree or was, at the very least, was a mindreader. There are so many fierce, wonderful mothers out there that have provided me with inspiration. My own Momma included. I love her to the moon and back.

Me and My Momma

I’m thinking of my favourite books and who the mother characters were or weren’t in those stories. Although, in most of these stories the protagonist is often motherless. Take Anne Shirley, from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables. Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter. And of course, Disney is in love with the storyline of motherless children and animals.

Mothers Are Like Buttons

The lack of mothers, the search for mothers, the importance of mothers is an far-reaching theme in books, movies, art, etc. Everyone, regardless of their origins, needs the warm, loving, protecting embrace of a mother.

In my own writing, for instance, motherhood is often a theme. In BACKLASH (Aspen Lake Series, Book 1), Constable Chase Porter and young Jason McCarran are both motherless and victims of abusive fathers. In EXPOSED (Aspen Lakes Series Book 2), recovering alcoholic Kate Logan’s own mother passed away when she was a teenager. In Gone (Aspen Lake Series Book 3 Work-In-Progress) Grace Bighill’s mother disappeared when she was 12. In OFF THE GRID (The Downtown Eastside Series) Sophie Monroe feels responsible for her older sister, Marnie, and is more of a mother to her than their own mother. Another character, Kellie Andrews, a young woman alone and afraid about to give birth.

Mothers in Fiction

Other books come to mind when I think of various mothers defending their family, their property, or their life. And other books depicting mothers who struggle or fail to give their children what they need. And women who adopt the role of mothering. Mothering isn’t necessarily a main theme of all of them, but these books all included mothers I’ve never forgotten or women who survived neglectful relationships with their own mothers or women who had no mother’s at all. I’ve listed a few of them in the order that I read them.

  1. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
  2. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  3. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  4. The Pearl That Broke It’s Shell by Nadia Hashimi
  5. Room by Emma Donaghue
  6. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  7. We Were The Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates

Mothers in Fiction

I’m beyond thankful for my own mother who’s wonderful at mothering. I’m thankful for books who tell the stories of mothers and mothering. What are some of your favourite fictional mothers?

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2 thoughts on “Memorable (To Me) Mothers in Fiction

  1. Wonderful post, Karyn. The only book that I’ve read on your list is The Nightingale, other than a couple of your books. I find a theme running through my books is a struggle with a mother or mother figure in a character’s life. Not sure what that says about me, but I find the mother/child relationship endlessly fascinating. Happy Mother’s Day!

    • I loved The Nightingale so much! And yes, I can see the exploration of family dynamics in your writing and such a very real and engaging theme for most every reader. And at least your mothers are alive, mine are usually dead! LOL And I know I don’t want to know what that says about me!

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