Sunday, 30 March 2014

Memorable Literary Mothers - My Top Ten

It's Mother's Day today and everywhere I've looked this week people have been talking about their favourite fictional mothers - either in books or in film - so, ever one for making a list, here are my booky top ten ,....

1 - Mrs March (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)- a very traditional sort of mother but strong and independent at the same time. Maybe the sort of mother I'd most like to have or be...

unless I could be like

2 - Jane Bell (All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses an Eye by Christopher Brookmyre) - a bored middle-aged housewife discovers a new lease of life when she goes to the rescue of her kidnapped son. Swapping housework for spying, Jane discovers life really begins after 40!

3 - Not sure I'd like to find myself in Dolly Oblonskaya's place (Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy)  - a bit pushed into the background in many ways by her sister-in-law Anna, Dolly always seems over-burdened and worn out coping with her unfaithful husband Stiva and bringing up their large family.

4 - another mother stretching herself in all directions but in a modern multi-tasking way  - investigative reporter come crime solver Annika Bengtzon  from the series by Liza Marklund

5 - Motherhood at its most protective - the un-named mother in Veronique Olmi's Beside the Sea goes to extraordinary lengths to keep her family 'safe'

6 - or suffocating  - Mrs Morel (Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence) keeps a firm grip at the hearts and minds of her sons, never wanting them grow up or willing to let them fly the nest.

 7 - a different sort of manipulation - Sara Fitzgerald deliberately conceives a 'designer' baby to help save her elder daughter from a rare form of leukaemia. 13 years later, no permanent cure has been found and there's no end in sight to the procedures and surgery her younger daughter is undergoing to save her sister.   My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

8  - a mother going off the rails - two extra seconds in the day bring Diana's carefully constructed, emotionally empty, world crashing down in Perfect by Rachel Joyce

  9 - Lexie from The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell - although on reading Elina seems the more obvious choice of 'memorable mother', Lexie's the one that stayed in my mind - I won't say why in case you haven't read it!

10 - Isabel Sherbourne (The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman) unable to have children of her own, Isabel 'adopts' a baby found in a boat washed ashore on her remote lighthouse-island home, leading to an emotional tug-of love.

Links on the titles take you to a 'proper' book review

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