Top Ten Tuesday: Mothers in Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is in honor of Mother’s Day which was this past weekend. It can be about moms in literature, mother/daughter/son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst mothers in literature, or pretty much anything else to do with moms that you have seen in a book.

  • Mother’s Death that Broke my Heart
    aconquringoflightIn the conclusion to Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy we get to know much more about Kell’s “adoptive” mother. Every passage about her made me like her more and she genuinely cared about both her biological son Rhy and adoptive son Kell. When she was so horribly and senselessly murdered it broke my heart. I suppose I can understand how it helped to urge Rhy to do and be what he needed to but it was definitely a tough section to get through.


  •     Terrible Mother
    heartlessIn Heartless by Marissa Meyer we are introduced to the mother of the Queen of Hearts. Throughout the entire book the only thing she cares about is marrying her daughter to the king to improve their social standing and reputation. The woman did not care one iota about what her daughter wanted until it was too late. Insufferable mother.


  • The Absent Mother

Here we have books that feature the absent mother. Each use the common trope of the mother not being in the picture. For the most part that figure has passed on and her death or absence is commonly brought up to further the story or give the leading character a push in plot. While I certainly did not enjoy Cinder as well as the other books listed I feel that the feature of the Absent Mother is very important to the ongoing story in that series.
Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
A Curious Beginning by Deanna Raybourn
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

  • The Loving Mother
    I find it rather distressing how difficult it was to find a book I’d read that featured a loving mother. Why isn’t that more of a thing? Why is the absent or terrible mother so often featured? I suppose it gives the main characters fuel in the literary fire but I still find it disturbing. In The White Queen by Philippa Gregory we have two mothers who are loving and care for their children albeit in perhaps unconventional ways. Both the lovely Queen and her own mother love their children and do their best by them. I’d like to see more of that in literature.


  • The Bereft Mother
    In The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown we have a maternal topic that, for many, is very difficult to talk about. We have mother who has lost a child. Our main character, Alice, despite trying was never able to carry a child to term. Part of the story features the painful loss of a child she had been carrying. I feel like especially around Mother’s Day this is an important topic to bring up. Many woman want so badly to be a mother but have found themselves unable to produce a child. That has to be a horrific kind of pain and these women need to be mentioned and remembered as well.


Well, not to end on a downer but there are my Top Ten Tuesday’s books that include mothers. I hope you all have a fabulous week and please feel free to leave your TTT post link in comments. Happy reading!

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Mothers in Literature

    1. I really wanted to love Cinder but something about it just fell flat for me. Hoping to pick up more of Philippa Gregory’s books soon because I loved The White Queen so much. A lot of people said it read more as a history book than fiction but I didn’t get that from it.


  1. I have such troubles thinking of good mothers in literature, particularly in YA. I think every time I see the question “Name a good literary mother” everyone says Molly Weasley, and then we’re done, so it’s nice to see another pick!
    I like Cinder, but I do think it’s predictable. The whole series is predictable, really.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Several people recommended I continue with the books after Cinder but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. The story was, as you said, just too predictable. Also, other than Molly and my pick I genuinely couldn’t think of other positive mothers in literature. I stared at my shelves for a while trying to come up with one. It’s sad that that is a thing.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s