Mother’s Day is here! So I’ve compiled a list of the most memorable moms in books- both fiction and nonfiction. This list contains my personal favorites, so don’t bang your head if I missed someone you love…Enjoy!
- Mrs. Bennet, Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
Yes! Even though she was quite a persistent matchmaker, she really did care about her daughters. The problem was just that she had five girls, and she wanted to get them all settled perfectly. Imagine being in that situation! And let’s face it, her husband wasn’t much help, was he? Anyway, all’s well that ends well!
- Mrs. Farnaby, The Fallen Leaves (Wilkie Collins)
If you’ve read the book, you must be knowing that Mrs. Farnaby was separated from her child after she was born and reunited on her deathbed. Yes, they only got to live with each other for a few moments, but it’s the waiting that the good lady endured that makes her so memorable. She waited sixteen years for her daughter to return to her and yet she never lost hope. The scene of their meeting is so emotional that it inspired me to write The Seal of Love.
- Mother Wolf, The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling)
Please excuse me for bringing in a non-human mom in here, but she deserves it! The way she protected Mowgli from Shere Khan, the tiger, always increases my respect for mothers (and wolves!). Also, throughout Mowgli’s life, Mother Wolf was his pillar of support and a bundle of love rolled into one. She supported him in his every venture and believe me, it’s hard to treat someone of another species as your own cub. But she did that, and very nicely too.
- Rosa Hubermann, The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
Rosa is definitely among my favorite characters of all time. Even though she was the foster mother of Liesel and acted all tough, her heart was soft as pudding. She did put up a hard exterior, but in rare moments, we all saw how much she loved the little golden-haired girl. Even while she flung curses at her, love was tinged with it.
- Mrs. Otis, The Canterville Ghost (Oscar Wilde)
This little American is definitely the kind of mother that kids dream of having. She was amusing, jaunty and very easy-going. But she was also totally immersed with her children. Her dismay and grief when her daughter Virginia gets lost proves that. Not to mention the joyous reunion that occurred when Virginia was found. And I think one of her coolest lines is when she offers to give the ghost of Sir Simon de Canterville a bottle of Dr Dobell’s tincture, thinking that he was screaming at midnight because of indigestion! Way to go, Lucretia.
- Joan Durbeyfield, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)
Although she begins Tess’s troubles by sending her to Alec d’Urberville to claim kinship, she really had her daughter’s best interests at heart. In fact, her only aim in life was to marry her off to a nobleman and let her enjoy a good life. She did get angry when Tess bore an illegitimate child, but like the simple woman she was, it didn’t take her longer than ten minutes to forgive her. That, I think, was her greatest virtue. Still, I wouldn’t recommend her for a ‘Mother of the Year’ award, but being an old fashioned woman, she really did try her best.
- Joy Adamson, Born Free trilogy (Joy Adamson)
Although she wasn’t her mom in the traditional sense, she was the closest friend and family of Elsa, who was an African lioness. When the author describes how she met Elsa as a cub for the first time, you’ll feel for sure that you’re listening to a mother speak about holding her newborn in her arms. As the book and their relationship progresses, you’ll see the bond between the two deepen. Elsa ultimately became the first lioness successfully released back into the wild, the first to have contact after release, and the first known released lion to have a litter of cubs. The scenes describing their parting and Elsa’s death will melt even a heart of stone. What do you think?
If you know of any other memorable or notorious moms, please feel free to drop me a line! I value your opinions very much. Happy Mother’s Day!