In the spirit of celebrating mothers for the wonderful role they play in moulding our lives, here are some interesting reads on the journey of motherhood. It’s the perfect time to dive into books about mothers that feature difficult, dynamic, nuanced mothers from the list below. You get the whole mix: the good, bad and crazy from these works of fiction.
If your mother is a reader, why don’t you give her a book on Mother’s Day? I’m sure she will really appreciate it.
- Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou:
The author’s seventh and final autobiography focusing, as the title suggests, on her fractured relationship with her mother who abandoned her as a small child then came back into her life a decade later.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood:
An eerily relevant dystopia novel set in a near-future United States where a theocratic military dictatorship is in power and has stripped women of all their rights. In this society, Offred is a handmaid, meaning she’s assigned to reproductive purposes, remembering her life before when she lived with her husband and daughter.
- Daughter by Asha Bandele:
A mother reminisces over her past while keeping vigil at the hospital bed of her black daughter who’s been shot by a white police officer.
- Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang:
Blending memoir and biography, this book tells the stories of three generations of women living through the tumult of twentieth century China.
- Little Bee by Chris Cleave:
An unexpected and fraught friendship forms between a Nigerian refugee and British widowed mother.
- The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta:
Nnu Ego is a Nigerian woman giving birth and raising her children in a time when colonial influences are beginning to challenge the accepted tribal gender roles.
- Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn:
In this thriller, journalist Camille must return to her hometown and estranged mother to investigate the murder of two young girls.
- The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne:
In seventeenth-century Puritanical Boston, Hester Prynne is ostracized after giving birth to an illegitimate child.
- At the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid:
A collection of short stories set in the Caribbean about the complicated connections between mothers and their daughters.
- Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight:
A single mother uses social media and cell phone logs to investigate the last days of her teenage daughter’s life and determine if she committed suicide like everyone else believes.