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Literary Moms: The Good and the Bad

I hope all you moms out there had a fantastic Mother’s Day yesterday! You do so much, and I hope you felt appreciated for all of the amazing of things you do for your family!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I wanted to share my picks for the best and worst moms in literature:


Model Moms

1. Molly Weasley (Harry Potter)– Not only is Molly Weasley a fantastic cook and an efficient housewife, but she takes care of all 7 of her children without breaking a sweat. She is a lovable and warm mom- she practically adopts Harry as her own son. Plus- Molly isn’t all hugs and kisses; she cusses out Bellatrix Lestrange and kicks some serious butt to protect Ginny. She is seriously an awesome mom.

2. Marmee (Little Women)- Marmee takes care of her high-strung girls while her husband’s at war. She’s calm and nurturing and is extremely patient with her children- especially Jo. She’s a classic even-tempered, advice-giving mom.

3. Marilla (Anne of Green Gables)- Marilla isn’t Anne’s biological mom, but she adopts her from an orphanage and does her best to rear her head-strong, redheaded child. Marilla can be harsh with Anne at times, but she’s secretly a softie who becomes more attached to Anne than she ever imagined. I love her tell-it-like-it-is attitude and her loving care of an un-loved orphan.

Mommy Dearest

1. Petunia Dursley (Harry Potter)- Petunia Dursley is the polar opposite of  Mrs. Weasley- she smothers Dudley and loves him to his own detriment (like letting him gain about 300 pounds). Plus, she hates Harry for reasons beyond his control. I just had to use another Harry Potter reference- and, wow, does Petunia Dursley fit the bill of a mean mom or what?

2. Mrs. Bennet (Pride and Prejudice)- In making this choice, I may have been swayed by the movie portrayal of Mrs. Bennet. I mean, I didn’t like her too much in the books either, but this woman seriously got on my nerves. She plays the guilt card and complains about her “fluttering nerves” when she doesn’t get her way. I can’t deny her sincere desire to see her daughters married off well, but she really takes it to a whole other level.

3. Katniss’ mom (The Hunger Games)- I’m sure Katniss’ mom has lots of reasons for being such an absent parent, but it’s hard to feel sympathy for a woman who doesn’t provide for her family. Katniss is responsible for feeding herself, her sister and her mom, while Mrs. Everdeen exists in a near catatonic state. I didn’t like Katniss’ mom for being emotionally vacant and for abandoning her children to the cold, tough world of Panem.


Who are your favorite or least favorite literary moms?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • http://melissa-melsworld.blogspot.com/ Melissa (My World…in words and pages)

    You know when I read books I really don’t think this way. But I need to start. lol. I think it at the moment I read the books, then it leaves me when I’m done and when these questions are asked I can’t think of any one to add.

    I do have to agree with the list though. :) Thank you!

    • Lisa

      It’s funny because in writing up this list, I really do stretch my mind thinking of people. lol That’s why there’s only 3 of each… 😀