I could have sworn I already had a post on this topic from a previous year, but after literally days of searching for it, it seems that I never did. It’s really strange because I can distinctly remember writing about several of the characters I had in mind. I started to search for the post in the first place because I wanted to avoid repeating myself with the exact same comments again, and realized that I apparently had never made the post at all. It was surprisingly hard to find mother figures (outside of the Harry Potter series) since there are so many books where parents in general are either absent, very minor characters, or not very good people. When it comes to many of the YA books that I read, the parents might be great characters, but I often don’t find them particularly memorable so it can be hard to think of the best ones after the fact in any amount of detail. It was actually much, much easier to remember negative mothers or maternal figures than it was to think of positive ones!
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and is now hosted by Sam at ThoughtsOnTomes. The official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Ma from Room by Emma Donoghue – I’m not even sure of this character’s real name to be honest, but she is the first one who stood out to me when I saw this prompt. For those who don’t know, Room is told from the perspective of 5-year-old Jack, whose mother was kidnapped and held captive for years by Old Nick. Jack has lived his entire life in Room, the only place he has ever known, with Ma as the only person he interacts with. Ma was such a fascinating character, especially for the way she did everything in her power to keep Jack safe and bring him up as normally as possible, given their horrific situation. This is easily one of the best books I’ve read in the past few years, and Ma definitely stands out as an interesting mother figure.
2) Marmee March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – This was one of the characters that I could have sworn I’d already mentioned in the post that apparently never existed. I know a lot of people who have read this book recently take issue with how moralizing it seems, but this is one of my favourite classics and I love the March family. Marmee is essentially raising all four of her daughters on her own, while her husband is away at war. She was well aware of the distinct personalities of each of her daughters and ensured that each of them received the lessons they needed most as they grew up. Not only did she take care of her own family, but she also made sure to help others and instill those values in her children as well. Even though they had very limited means themselves, they were still expected to think of others and help when they can.
3) Maura Sargent from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – Really I could have mentioned any and all of the women that Blue lives with, but I decided to stick to Maura since she is Blue’s mother. Blue is a very supportive and loving parent to Blue and they have a great relationship. She gives Blue a lot of freedom and room to make her own decisions, but is always available and prepared to support her. She does her best to protect Blue and along with the other relatives, they make up a great network of people who love and care for her. I don’t specifically remember too much about Maura as a character, but I remember thinking she was a great mother.
4) Oana from The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White – I’m sure I wouldn’t be choosing this character if I hadn’t very recently finished the series, because I’m not sure she is someone that would necessarily stand out long-term. Oana is the mother of Lada’s childhood best friend Bogdan, and also served as Lada’s nurse. Oana had a relatively small role in the series overall, but she was so much fun to read! She provided some much-needed comic relief, but aside from that, she seemed to be the mother figure that Lada never had. As much as Lada fought against Oana’s attempts to take care of her, it was obvious that there was a strong bond there, especially by the third book in the series. The dynamics between the two of them were so interesting, and really showed another humanizing side to Lada.
5) Miss Peregrine from Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – It took me a while to think of Miss Peregrine, but the more I thought about the character, the more she seemed to fit. Miss Peregrine reminds me in some ways of Professor McGonagall, because of the way she can be strict but is also very devoted to the children who are in her care. She has taken in quite a few children and works to keep them safe and protected in the time loop. Not to mention the fact that the individuals who are in her care as mostly teenagers who are stuck at that age, and who each have some kind of unusual ability. Miss Peregrine takes care of all of them on her own, keeping the time loop active for their protection, while also providing a relatively normal living situation and dealing with day-to-day aspects of behaviour, food, etc.
I have been meaning to read The Raven Boys FOREVER. (BTW you wrote The Raven Cycle instead of Boys). I think I’m going to move it up my TBR and read it this summer.
That’s because I was referring to the whole series, but definitely give it a chance!
Oh okay. I am really in need of a 5 star fantasy read!
Really love Marmee from Little Women too 🙂