For the first Five for Friday I thought I should celebrate women! In honour of International Women’s Day which was on Thursday and Mother’s Day on Sunday I have complied a list of my top Five Memorable Mums or Mother figures in fictional novels, who in one way or another I think are inspirational, brave, strong and wonderful!
Five for Friday is a new blog post that I will be writing once a week with a list of top five different bits and bobs regarding books and reading. Hope you enjoy! (There are a couple of spoilers within this post so just be warned)
Kidnapped by Old Nick at 19 years old and held captive for 8 years, Ma is repeatedly raped falling pregnant twice and living a very basic form of life in a tiny box room. However it’s not just herself she has to think about, she has her young son Jack, who has no idea there is a world outside of room, he doesn’t even understand that they are being held captive. Ma doesn’t let their situation defeat them. She chooses to embrace motherhood and tries her very best to bring Jack up well, keeping his mental and physical abilities afloat, she feeds him a healthy diet, limits his TV time, educates him and plays with him. She is resourceful & creative, they don’t have a lot in room so when Jack wants to find out how tall he is, not having a measuring tape to hand, Ma creates one our of an old cereal box. She makes up games such as Thursday Screaming Sessions, to her this is a possibility of escape and survival to Jack this is just a fun Thursday afternoon with his mum. Ma is courageous and brave and you can see this by the way she stands up to Old Nick, her determination to survive and to escape whilst giving her child the best upbringing she can under such dire circumstances are empowering and beautiful to read, especially as the novel is narrated by Jack and we read everything from his perspective.
2. Miss Jennifer Honey
I don’t think anyone can say they don’t like Miss Honey, the sickly sweet, caring teacher that everyone adores. Just like Matilda, Miss Honey had an upsetting and bad upbringing by someone who didn’t really love, care or treat her like a child. I think this is one of the reasons why she makes such a connection with Matilda, seeing the way her parents treat her when she is such a bright child bursting with potential. Miss Honey picks up on this potential almost instantly and wants to nurture Matilda, support her learning, let her grow and care for her. I also think Miss Honey needs Matilda just as much as Matilda needs Miss Honey. Once Matilda is in the picture Miss Honey starts standing up to Miss Trunchbull, she also invades the Wormwoods precious TV time to help out Matilda. She becomes a stronger person when Matilda is around and together they stand up to the bullies in their lives. She might not be Matilda’s real mother but in the end she adopts her and takes her in as if she was her own child. With Miss Honey, Matilda begins to get the childhood she had always dreamt of and deserved.
3. Aibileen Clark
Aibileen Clark is a black woman who cooks, cleans and looks after white babies. She is now raising her 18th, Mae Mobley Leefolt, who has just turned two years old. Aibileen’s relationship with Mae Mobley is very touching, she identifies with her immediately as Mae doesn’t fit in because she “isn’t a cute” baby just like she “doesn’t fit in” because of the colour of her skin. Aibileen is invaluable to Mae Mobley giving her a sense of self worth and self love, she teaches her kindness, respect, and that she is beautiful “You is kind, you is smart, you is important” The reason she feels she has this is important is because she doesn’t want Mae growing up like her terrible mother. Mae’s own mother neglects her and physically and mentally abuses her. This is not the first child that Aibileen has cared for that has been abused, the difference with Mae is that she tries to teach her, passing on her knowledge and wisdom of self love, racial equality and trying to bring her up in a loving, warm and kind hearted way.
4. Molly Weasley
Everyone loves Molly Weasley, FACT! She is the huggable, loveable, squishy, fun mother that we all love. She has her own children and takes in Harry as one of her own. She is stern yet forgiving, I’m sure everyone remembers the Howler she send Ron over breakfast, scolding their behaviour but not really punishing them. She knits them awful lumpy gross jumpers every Christmas, but all the kids wear them as to not upset her, as they know what an amazing caring mother she is. She is protective and would go to the end of the earth for her children aka kills Bellatrix- Lestrange (you go girl!!!) Thanks to all her fabulous characteristics she brings up kind, loving, strong and brave children, she is the mother of all mothers in my opinion.
5. Eva Khatchadourian
I think out of the five I have chosen Eva is my favourite memorable mum. She is a very different kind of mother to the others I have chosen. She never really wanted children and only does to keep her husband happy at 37 she has Kevin. Her rational of motherhood is not very maternal “To have something else to talk about”, “It would be nice to start a collection” are not usually phrases of a mother to be and a lot of people find her character selfish. Which indeed as a character she is at times. However I love her honestly, she is scared to become a mother isn’t every mum? She is worried she will become bored and gain weight she worries her child may be disabled because of her late age to become a parent. Her inner monologue is probably what a lot of mums-to-be think about. However not all mothers give birth to a sociopath. Eva tries to bond with and love Kevin but obviously it is difficult with him being a sociopath, but still endeavours to him a normal childhood. Kevin is manipulative, nasty and cunning. At one point in the book he hurts his sister so badly he disfigures her, is is not a nice person. Eva is always suspicious of her son, she feels intimidated by him and knows there is something not quite right. However this lack of maternal instinct gets turned around at the end of the novel. Her son, her first born child ends up going on a horrific killing spree and ending up in prison. Because of this Eva loses everything, her house, her job, her family, friends, and community respect and self worth yet every single week she visits Kevin in prison. Wether he likes it or not she goes there that’s because she does love him and she does care about him, she could of just disowned him and moved away creating a new life for herself. But she stays, she struggles and she continues to be there for her son.
Who are your favourite mums and mother figures in fiction? I’ve just realised the five I’ve picked have all been made into films. With all of the above I actually enjoyed the books more…obviously! Hope you all treat your wonderful mums to something lovely this mothering Sunday. Thanks for reading Katie x