In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to write a list of who my 5 favorite fictional moms are and also say a thank you to my mom since without her I would not be the voracious bookworm that I am today. So, this post is both a tribute to my favorite mom, mine, and the moms who through books I’ve often thought/wished were my own!
First, my mom…she is an amazing woman and without her, I would not be the reader that I am today. She’s a bibliophile of very eclectic tastes and just like me, her favorite thing is to curl up with a good book and a hot cup of tea (or in my case tea or coffee depending on my mood!).
My earliest and favorite memories are of being curled against my mom while she read to me and if she wasn’t reading to me, I was carrying around a portable tape player (oh, I’m old!), so I could listen to books on cassette because I never wanted to NOT be listening to a story.
My mom introduced me to the world of fantasy through A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ring’s trilogy, and Le Morte Darthur (and all things Camelot) by Sir Thomas Malory. Without her giving me every single one of the original Nancy Drew books from her own childhood and reading them with me the 1st time, I wouldn’t have developed my love of mystery and suspense, which is one of my favorite genres of fiction. I still have those books today and have started reading them with my own 6-year-old daughter.
She also taught me that it was okay to laugh, cry, and rant at a book because after all when you read, you become a part of the story. I think part of why I love reading so much is because it opens up whole new worlds that I would never experience otherwise.
Also, it was her putting the works of John Donne, Christopher Marlowe, William Blake, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, and so many other great writers that made me know I wanted to major in English, especially classic British and American literature and that I wanted to teach others to love literature in the very same way she taught me so long ago.
Simply put, without my amazing mother, I would not have the passion for reading or the passion for teaching others to share in my joy of reading like I do today. Mom, I owe you for more than just giving me life: I owe you for opening my eyes to a whole literary world and allowing me to experience joy and magic every day doing what I love most—reading!
Now on with my list of my favorite 5 fictional moms. There are so many great moms in fiction, so it was almost hard for me to narrow it down! But, here it goes:
#5. Ms. Bennett, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
Since classic British literature is my “specialty” so to speak, I can’t leave out a character from one of my favorite Jane Austin novels. Mrs. Bennett is a force to be reckoned with as she tries to find a husband for her five daughters and even though she is silly, materialistic, irrational, completely tactless, she is the reason for some of the funniest moments in the novel! She’s so fixated on marrying her daughters to wealthy men that she has no idea that her uncouth social behavior is actually a turnoff to many of the suitors she’s trying to snag for her daughters (Oh, handsome Mr. Darcy!! Good thing he and Elizabeth worked everything out all on their own!).
Mrs. Bennett is certainly controlling, but she’s also the product of her social status, culture, and time period. One thing is for sure, she is a mother who has all of her daughter’s best interests in mind (at least she thinks so). That’s more that you can say about lots of fictional (or real-life) moms!
#4. Margaret March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
When I was about 8, I read Little Women for the 1st time and for a long time I reread it every single year—yes, I still bawl like a baby when Beth dies. I wanted to be Jo so badly and part of that was because I adore and love Marmee so, so much!! She is just the quintessential mom; loving, patient, understanding, caring yet tough and firm when she needs to be. And she’s acting as a single mom during the bleakness of the Civil War when she’s worried about her husband’s welfare and having no money, all while raising 4 very different girls and teaching them to be well-mannered, educated, and unconventional young ladies. Not only that but she’s teaching them to be as kind, strong, and loving as she! Marmee is an inspiration for all the fictional moms who have followed after her!
#3. Frannie Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Fault in Our Stars had me crying and laughing so much and partially why I cried was because my heart was breaking along with Frannie Lancaster, whose sixteen-year-old daughter Hazel has terminal cancer. As I read the book, I kept imagining what it would be like if one of my own teenage children had cancer, and I knew that I would be a helicopter mom much like Frannie. Frannie could’ve been destroyed by her daughter’s cancer and become depressed but instead, she devotes herself to Hazel in such a way that it was almost crazy. Almost. It’s true that she goes a little crazy trying to make each day a celebration for Hazel, but I honestly can’t blame her since who really knows when your last day on Earth will be. For any mom, that’s often a worry. I love how Frannie constantly encourages Hazel to do normal teenage things and experience all she can while she still can. Most of all, when Hazel falls in love with Augustus Waters I adore how supportive Frannie is of the two teenagers flying to the Netherlands to meet their favorite author. Her loving dedication and support of Hazel through her own emotional pain made it so easy to love her as a mother!
#2. Marilla Cuthbert, Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
The Anne of Greene Gables series is another favorite from childhood that I still love to reread. When the series starts, you would never think that Anne’s adoptive mother would turn from the cold, rigid, stern woman who seemingly dislikes Anne’s nonstop talking and flights of fancy. Yet, as the series continues, reader’s see that Marilla’s rough exterior hides the softest of hearts, and she is filled with nothing but love and adoration for red-headed, impulsive Anne. Although Marilla doesn’t easily show her affection, she is the kind of mother that anyone would want because she is loving, patient, wise, protective, devoted, and an unwavering friend.
#1. Molly Weasley, Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Molly Weasley! If I could be any fictional mom, I would want to be Molly Weasley in a heartbeat, hands down! I first started reading the Harry Potter books on my own then reread them with my boys because I love them so much; I’ve honestly lost count of how many times I’ve reread them or aspired to be a mom like Molly Weasley! She really has the mothering thing going on! She manages to raise her own 7 kids, which with Fred, George, and Ron for kids say a lot, but she steps perfectly into the surrogate mum role for Harry and to some degree Hermione without missing a beat. Plus, she takes care of her house and Arthur Weasley with practiced perfection but of course, having magic does help! She always has a word of advice (or a Howler to send when needed). And of course, she is always there to lend a listening ear. I can’t think of a mother who is as loving, wise, protective, and attentive as Molly Weasley. Like the best of moms, she willingly defends all of her children, Harry and Hermione included, even when that means she must risk her own life since she knows her children’s lives are worth protecting at all costs.