Top Ten Tuesday: Mommie Dearest

Wooo, it's Top Ten Tuesday again! TTT is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It's super fun because it combines two of my favorite activities: reading and compulsively making lists! Yay!

This week's theme is a Mother's Day freebie.

I love my mom. I love her even more after finishing a book where the mother/child relationship is ... shall we say, less than ideal? I'm not a fan of the phrase "bad mom," just because ascribing a moral judgement to a person I don't know makes me feel icky, so I'll call these ladies Moms You Probably Shouldn't Make Your #goals.

1. The Commandant in An Ember in the Ashes (Sabaa Tahir). Because nothing says "I love you, son" like scourging him and repeatedly trying to kill him. Mwah!

2. Jeannette's mom in The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls). Another book that made me go to my parents and say, "Thank you for not making us live in a coal town in West Virginia with no heat and also make us eat garbage while you hoard Hershey's bars."

3. Gem and Dixie's mom in Gem and Dixie (Sara Zarr). Because making your fifteen-year-old daughter buy painkillers at school so you can take them to get high is amazing parenting.

4. Gertrude in Hamlet (William Shakespeare). Gotta give a shout-out to the Queen of Denmark, who marries her dead husband's brother and wonders why Ham is in a sulk.

5. Erica Milbourn in Wild Swans (Jessica Spotswood). Self-absorbed? Check. Fat-shaming? Check. Oooh, my top two indicators of a NOPE mom.

6. Myrtle Sunderly in The Lie Tree (Francis Hardinge). I understand why she does what she does, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.

7. Mary Addison's mom in Allegedly (Tiffany D. Jackson). So many reasons. So many. Most of them are spoilers.

8. Gervaise Macquart in L'assommoir (Émile Zola). You know, throwing your life away for drink because life sucks (unofficial motto of Zola).

9. Maddy's mom in Everything, Everything (Nicola Yoon). I am one of the few people who disliked this book, but Maddy's mom was really something else.

10. Lane's grandma in The Roanoke Girls (Amy Engel). I know, technically this is a grandmother, but her complicity in the acts of the book is astounding, nauseating, and terrifying.


  1. And then there are the good mothers such as Mrs March aka Marmee, in Little Women and Molly Weasley in Harry Potter and the amazing Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan saga... and probably plenty more! Maybe a subject for a post by me, as I did a while back for fictional father's on Father's Day(I miss my Dad so much!)

  2. I wanted to challenge myself to do not-so-great moms, because most of the ones I could think of were really good role models.

    Unfortunately, in YA the parents are dead for a sort of narrative convenience. :/


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