MAGNIFICENT MUMS!

Hiya everyone! So, today marks the last day of the month, and so the very last day of International Women’s History month. But what some of you might not know is that today also marks Mother’s Day in some corners of the world! So, in the UK (and other places, no doubt) many of us are celebrating mothers, and all that they do for us. In honour of today, I thought it would be nice to compile a list of some of my favourite literary mothers! And, while I talk about some of my favourites, I’ll then be featuring a selection of other bloggers and tweeters alike who will be telling us about their favourite literary mothers, too!


my picks

LILY EVANS-POTTER

the harry potter series by jk rowling
(goodreads link)
my choice / @bxbmorley (twitter) & @ganseyreads (instagram)

“Your mother died to save you. If there is one thing Voldemort cannot understand, it is love. He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. Not a scar, no visible sign … to have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever. It is in your very skin.”

To say that motherly love has had a huge impact within these books would be an understatement, to say the least. In fact, it’s a very integral part of the series, and I don’t believe even for a second that these books or these characters would be nearly as significant if not for the lessons that they taught us all about love – and, more specifically, the love of a mother. To me, Lily Evans/Potter is the heart and soul of these books, despite having died before our title character is even old enough to speak. Lily’s love and devotion towards Harry is such a heavily consistent theme within the course of the seven books, and while she has long since been lost to him, her role in his life is still substantial, and her presence on his journey is evident the entire time. From books one to seven, JK Rowling never shies away from talking about just how important her sacrifice for Harry was, but only as each book progresses to we continue to learn new ways in which her death has changed and shaped the course of events. Indeed, her love is proven to be so strong that Dumbledore deems it one of the most powerful forms of magic, acting as a protective spell not only in those drastic, terrifying moments as Voldemort attacked the Potter family – but for the sixteen years that followed, too. It is a common misconception amongst readers (myself included) – as well as a testament to Rowling and her talents for creating such a wonderfully crafted arc – that the reason that Harry survived Voldemort’s initial attack, at just a year old, is because Harry possessed a powerful magic that not even Lord Voldemort could match. And while yes, that does indeed come to fruition, I think it’s arguable that – much like the prophecy, in that it only really came true because of Voldemort’s persistence – if Lily had not made the sacrifice that she had, and if Voldemort hadn’t attacked the Potters that night (or at all), then perhaps Harry would have grown up to be merely your average wizard. Talented, no doubt, but certainly not one of the most notably powerful wizards in the world. Harry’s survival that night in Godric’s Hollow is constantly called into question by countless different people, wizards around the world, Voldemort himself included, and right off the bat Dumbledore is quick to explain that it was Lily’s doing, and that it is not some hidden power that Harry’s one year old self possessed, but indeed her love, her sacrifice, and her unrelenting instinct to protect her son that truly destroyed Voldemort that night. Lily’s love for her son was so fierce and all-encompassing that she was able to use it to destroy one of the darkest wizards of all time, and protect her son from an otherwise fatal attack. The fact is, Lily’s sacrifice was so powerful, so entirely life-changing, that it impacted the entire Wizarding world, and in her final moments she committed an act so incredible that she helped secure the safety of the world by taking down the greatest, most dangerous wizard of all time. And yet, though Lily spent those short years of her adult life dedicated to fighting evil and doing good, her acts were for nobody but Harry; her terror in those last seconds were not for herself, but for the child in her arms who she would – and did – do absolutely anything to protect. Lily’s love went on to protect Harry from harm for a whopping 17 years and ensured a protection around him that has been almost impossible to mimic, and if that level of unconditional love isn’t significant enough to make a good mother, then I don’t know what is.

LISA CARTER

the hate u give by angie thomas
(goodreads link)

When you have a novel as phenomenal as The Hate U Give, it’s practically impossible to pick apart individual characters and choose one that stood out from the rest; they’re all such stunningly well-crafted and layered characters, their individual traits, experiences, and dynamics setting them apart. Obviously, with all of that in mind, the only suitable characters to talk about in this particular post are the mother figures, but even with today’s particular theme aside, Starr’s mother was such an endearing and captivating character that I would happily talk about her any day of the week! Lisa is mother to Starr, Sekani, and – though not biologically related – Seven. The latter is not related to her by blood, only an extended part of her family through her husband and his father Maverick, but that never stops her from accepting him and raising him as her own. Lisa’s capactiy for love is proven throughout the course of the book, and it extends to each of her children, Seven included, and is even shown through her fondness and her grief over Khalil. Her instinct is to protect, no matter what, and to be as much of a support system for her family, particularly her children, as possible, and to make sure that they’re always aware that she’s by their side. The tone of this story is so heavy, at times, and rightfully so given the topic. Despite the hardships that they all suffer through, and the weight on Starr’s shoulders, and even Maverick’s, Lisa’s own strength never wavers. She stands by each and every single one of her loved ones, offering words of support and encouragement through every bump in the road. She stands by Starr as she is questioned by the police, as she decides which path is the best to take, and is the perfect mix of both tender and firm when advising her on her friendships and boyfriend troubles. When Seven has his own doubts, his own issues with his biological mother, Lisa never judges him, never pushes him away or rejects him, and yet she doesn’t coddle or shield him either; she allows him to make his own decisions, never once takes away his choice to spend time with his biological mother, or with her, and even encourages him to do things that he mightn’t necessarily want to. Even in the thick of all their struggles and the height of Khalil’s case, she still remains strict when enforcing rules, scolding her children for getting into trouble at school, skipping classes, and general misbehaving; she doesn’t allow them to make excuses for themselves and use their pain as a get out of jail free card, but knows exactly when to draw the line on what is and isn’t okay. With Sekani, as young as he is, she has an instinct to shield and protect him, to hide him away from the true horrors of what they are dealing with – but even then, she knows that to truly protect him, that there is a level of safety within knowledge, and knows her own limits, and when she must put her own fears aside and do what it takes in favour of providing her children with the happiest, safest futures that she can.

ROSIE DUNNE

where rainbows end by cecelia ahern
(goodreads link)

Rosie, to me, is such a wonderfully flawed character, but a brilliant mother. She has no intentions of getting pregnant, certainly not at such a young age, and she never planned on being a mother. She had plans of getting through school with her best friend, of flying half-way across the world to go to University and get a start on the exciting future she always had mapped out for herself. Rosie Dunne had huge plans for herself, but none of them ever included a daughter, and yet that was the reality that she faced. While I don’t entirely agree with all of the decisions that Rosie makes throughout this book, and she certainly makes her own life all the more difficult along the way, it’s evident from the off that each and every decision that she makes, each mistake, is all an attempt at making a better life for her daughter, for Katie. Indeed, often enough the decisions she makes have awful repercussions for herself, and leave her unhappy and doubly stressed, but countless times end up being the right choice that she needed to make for her daughter. Rosie can often be selfish, a little naïve, disastrously petty, and downright oblivious at the best of times – but, in spite of all of that, she makes sacrifice after sacrifice for her daughter, and always puts her own happiness and well being aside in favour of being a better mother to her little girl. She is brilliantly and unapologetically feisty beyond words, and she has an inner strength that only grows as the years pass, and though it takes her a little longer to get where she wants to be than expected, Rosie wouldn’t trade her Katie for anything, and absolutely everything – each sacrifice, each compromise, and each tear shed – was wholeheartedly worth it purely for the satisfaction of getting to see her little girl grow up into such a strong and headstrong young woman.

SHARON RIVERS

if beale street could talk by james baldwin
(goodreads link)

“…love brought you here. If you trusted love this far, don’t panic now.”

Mother of two, Sharon Rivers watches as her two daughters Ernestine and Tish – both vastly different in temperament and manner – grow and change as each of their actions, and the events that unfold around them, shape them and the course of their futures. Though this particular novel focuses on Tish, told from her perspective, I think it’s worth noting that Mrs Rivers’ love for both of her daughters is so evident within Baldwin’s storytelling, Tish’s own narrative, and just in the way that each of these girls hold themselves. They’re both strong women in entirely contrasting ways; Tish is softer, more gentle, with a tender approach, while Ernestine is more likely to be outspoken, and to jump into a situation with all guns blazing. But neither of these approaches are wrong, and in fact are just two very different reflections of their mother’s love, and the way that she has imprinted on the both of them. Sharon exhibits all of these characteristics, and it would be an injustice to deny the fact that both of her girls take after her in one way or another. She has a fiery strength to her, a determination that is a driving force in so many of her decisions going forward, and it can be shown so perfectly paralleled in Ernestine’s behaviour and treatment of others. Yet, all the same, she has an undeniable softness to her, and isn’t afraid to allow Tish her moments of vulnerability, nurturing and tending to her when she needs it, but never shying away from a tough-love approach when necessary. I think that maternal instinct is so heavily ingrained into Sharon’s DNA that it can even be seen, time and time again, regarding her relationship with Fonny. Though Fonny isn’t her biological son, and he and Tish aren’t even married, it’s more than implied throughout the book that she would go to the ends of the earth for him, and that her protective nature extends to all of those that she loves, and that her devotion is not merely that of a blood-bond, but an unconditional and eternal love.

Honourable mentions: Some other literary mums that I absolutely adore consist of Molly Weasley, (Harry Potter), Maura Sargent (The Raven Cycle), Celie (The Color Purple), Camila Dunne-Rodriguez (Daisy Jones & The Six), Penny Fernweh (Summer of Salt), Elizabeth McKenna (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) & Mrs Mendoza (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe).

your picks

YRENE TOWERS WESTFALL

kingdom of ash (throne of glass) by sarah j. maas
(goodreads link)
zhoy / @ladyzhoy31 (twitter)

To become mother it will start when the child is still on her womb. Just like Yrene Tower Westfall. She is a fierce woman who think not just from the presence but for also for the future of her child. Most of her actions are all weighed for the good of her family. That what a mother is to be. A mother who think right for the good of her child future.

TERESA FOLCHART

the inkworld series by cornelia funke
(goodreads link)
esme / @esmooglereads (twitter) & esmooglereads (blog)

One of my favourite fictional mothers is Resa from the Inkheart trilogy my Cornelia Funke. The books were some of my favourites when I was younger and I am well due a reread! Resa is an incredible mother because despite a very difficult life, it is the thought of her family, especially her daughter Meggie, that keeps her going. She dotes on her daughter, making sure she and her husband give her a wonderful life, until she is magically transported into the pages of a book. There, she ends up a servant to an awful owner, but refuses to lose hope. Her maternal presence carries over to other characters – she teaches someone inside the book to read and he is devoted to her forever because of it. When she is pulled into the book she becomes mute, but also never lets this put a damper on her hope. When her husband and daughter, several years later, get pulled into another fight with the book, she does her part by sneaking through her awful master’s house and trying to steal useful items for them. Once reunited with Meggie, their relationship is so wonderful – Meggie learns sign language so they can communicate clearly and Resa makes her dresses inspired by her time in the book. As the series progresses and Meggie grows up, Resa is fierce in her love and protection, nursing her daughter through first loves and physical battles while fighting alongside her. Any time they are separated, she practically tears the world in two to find her again. I also love that being a mother isn’t her entire character – she is a well-rounded, amazingly fleshed out person with flaws and her own plotlines, not just a supporting character in the role of ‘Meggie’s mum’.

WENDY DARLING

peter pan by j.m. barrie
(goodreads link)
esme / @esmooglereads (twitter) & esmooglereads (blog)

An honorary (sort of) mother I like is Wendy from Peter Pan! She does eventually have a daughter and literally become a mother but before that she single handedly looks after a gang of unruly boys to the point where she literally keeps them alive! She is a young girl, but expertly manages to balance fun and games with actually making sure the boys eat and take their medicine. Yes, some of the dynamics in Peter Pan are a little odd to read now, but Wendy’s maternal instincts are wonderful and although she doesn’t need them to be developed so young, they clearly started because she cares for her younger brothers very deeply. She is warm, smart and creative and although it is heartbreaking her reconciliation of growing up but keeping her sense of fun and adventure and not always conforming to society’s expectations makes her a great mum. Furthermore, she has always displayed great qualities that make her a mother without those being looked down on – when society wants her to be a docile little wife and mother, she shows she absolutely can be while holding onto her childhood and the important lessons she learned from it. This is definitely clear in the books sequel Peter Pan in Scarlet (which I massively recommend to any fan!!) where we learn more about her life as an adult and how she never stopped looking out for her brothers and the lost boys despite them all becoming adults and parents themselves.
Also lets be real – Peter pan is not an easy boy to deal with but wendy goes toe to toe whenever she needs to!

MS NELSON

heartstopper by alice oseman
(goodreads link)
lara isabel hansson / @lara_hansson (twitter)

One of my favourite literary moms ever is Nick’s mother from the graphic novel Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. While we don’t get to see much of her, whenever she is present you can tell how much she cares about Nick. She is very much involved in Nick’s life, asking questions about how he’s feeling, his relationship with his friends and worrying about him. She’s very supportive of him (this can be especially seen when Nick comes out to her). I just love how kind, loving and supporting she is.

EMILY SPIER

simon vs the homo sapien agenda by becky albertalli
(goodreads link)
becca / @astoldbybex (twitter) & beccaleighanne (blog)

Simon vs. the Homo Sapien’s Agenda is such an important novel to me; especially, as a recenty outed member of the LGBTQ+ community. I remember sitting at my kitchen table, turning page after page & relating so much to what Simon Spier had to say about coming out. Which is why, for badass moms in literature, I had to choose Emily Spier, Simon’s mother. Coming out isn’t easy, friends. It meant to much to me to see Simon’s parents accept him, regardless of his sexuality. Plus, Love, Simon’s (the film adaption) version of Emily had me in my feels the entire time; give Jennifer Garner an Oscar ASAP. In the film, we get to see Simon’s mom as an activist & a strong supporter of the community long before her son even comes out! & her acceptance & speech after Simon’s coming out is by far one of the best scenes in film. Brb, I’m crying.

Honourable mentions: Another of Becca’s other favourite mother-figures was Molly Weasley (Harry Potter).

MOLLY WEASLEY

the harry potter series by jk rowling
(goodreads link)
jennifer (becca’s lovely sister)

I love Molly Weasley (moreso in the books than in the films, but both versions show Molly as a wonderful mother). One of the things that stuck out to me happened in Goblet of Fire. After an event in the Triwizard tournament, Harry is informed that he has someone waiting for him in the family room — it was Molly & Bill Weasley, at a time that Harry didn’t think he’d get any visitors (as his only family members are the Dursleys & Sirius, the former being his abusers, the latter of which at this time is in hiding). Time & time again, Molly Weasley has shown so much love to Harry, as if he was her own. And of course, she’s constantly showing how much she loves & cares for her own children!

Honourable mentions: Not another mother figure, but a big thank you to Christine (@booktinee) who had wanted to write a section on Molly and contribute to this post, but due to her own busy schedule couldn’t find the time! I have no doubt in my mind that she could wax lyrical about Molly, and I wanted to give her a quick mention all the same. And, of course, thank you to the delightful Jennifer for her input, and to everyone who wanted to say their piece on everyone’s favourite Weasley!

RUTH JEFFERSON

small great things by jodi picoult
(goodreads link)
justina / @everythingjh (twitter) & jbookshelf (blog)

I recently read Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and the main character, Ruth, is such an amazing mother. Throughout the whole book, she does everything she can to keep her son safe and give him a good life. Even when they fight, she gives him some space then talks through the issue with him at a later time. She supports everything he does unless what he’s doing will get him in trouble, of course. Everything she does is for her son and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

ROSE CALLOWAY

the addicted series/the calloway sister series by krista & becca ritchie
(goodreads link)
jenny / @liviablackthrns (twitter) & @frmedens (instagram)

My values haven’t changed with motherhood. I still work because I’m passionate about fashion. I still have children because I love my little gremlins, and I have the resources to have more while juggling my career and family, so I do. Independence has nothing to do with whether or not someone chooses to be single or to be married, to have children or to not have children. Independence by definition is about self-governing.”

Rose Calloway is, for me, sort of the ultimate Mother character. Which is funny, because although there is no right way to be a woman, or a Mother, she doesn’t exhibit many of the traits that are commonly associated with motherhood. Rose initially rejects the idea of being a mother completely. She states herself that she isn’t particularly ‘soft’, ‘quiet’ or ‘warm’. And yet, she is a natural Mother. Rose has seven children over the course of the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series. She is loving, sweet, and encourages her children to pursue their passions, all while being the owner of a popular, flourishing fashion brand. My particular favourite anecdote of Rose as a Mum is when she lets Jane, her first daughter, wear a mishmash of odd clothing, jarring colours and ridiculous styles. Despite knowing she could dress Jane for herself, she lets her young daughter don cat ears and silly clothes because she wants to let her cultivate her own style and be her own person. Rose is one of my absolute favourite female characters of all time, and an excellent Mother to boot.

Honourable mentions: Some of Jenny’s other favourite mother-figures include Lily Potter (Harry Potter), Rosie Dunne (Where Rainbows End/Love, Rosie), Maura Sargent (The Raven Cycle) & Elizabeth McKenna (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society).


So, there we have it! Thank you so much to everyone who contributed, this post was genuinely such a delight to put together, and it warmed my heart getting to hear everyone gush so delightedly about their favourite maternal figures!


To any of the mothers out there reading this, Happy Mother’s day! I hope you have an absolutely glorious day, and I hope you’re all aware of just how magical you truly are; your love and your devotion is the backbone of this entire planet. To those of you who don’t have a mother, I love you and I’M YOUR MUM NOW. To everyone: have a fantastic sunday!


And to you readers, are any of these mums your favourites? Comment below and share your favourite literary mother figures, I’d love to hear all about them!

6 thoughts on “MAGNIFICENT MUMS!

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