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Mother’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday May 10th so there couldn’t be a better time to discuss mothers in books. I enjoy reading great books about mothers and daughters. The bond between a mother and daughter represents such an interesting and unique relationship. Some are best friends. Some don’t talk at all. There are ones who don’t even know each other! While I’m not a mother yet myself, I am blessed to have had a great one. My mom was my best friend and truly one of my favourite people. I also know I am great daughter, just ask my Dad 😉. Sadly, my Mom passed away on August 30, 2015 after a fierce and quick battle with cancer. I was 26 years old. I miss her desperately.
For a few years afterward, I really struggled on Mother’s Day. Social media was my enemy on this day. I was constantly bombarded with posts recognizing and honouring mothers. It was hard to witness other people celebrating their mothers and knowing that I couldn’t celebrate mine in the same way. But with time, I healed. I began to let go of the resentment that I was holding towards others who still had their mom on Earth. Now, I am able to recognize the appreciation and love that others have for their mothers and smile at that. I can also smile knowing that I had a wonderful mother who will always live on in my heart. Now I join Aric in celebrating his mother on this day. I cheers to my friends who are mothers. I also show appreciation to mothering figures that I have in my life since my loss.
Whether you are a mother, daughter, or both, here are five great books about mothers and daughters for you to enjoy.
The Mother’s Promise by Sally Hepworth
Genre: Women’s Lives & Relationships
Publication Year: 2017
This is an emotional mother-daughter story that just might leave you in tears, as it did me. Alice has been diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer. Zoe, her 15-year-old daughter, has severe social anxiety and is quite dependent on her mother as Alice is the only parent she knows. Realizing the severity of her illness, Alice reaches out to a social worker and her oncology nurse, who are both practically strangers to her, for help protecting her daughter Zoe. The four women come together, showing courage and love while battling their own challenges and demons as this female-centric story unfolds and each character is fraught with their own powerful emotions.
Carrie & Me: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Carol Burnett
Publication Year: 2013
I am such a Carol Burnett fan. I have read each one of her memoirs and I have enjoyed them all. In this one, Carol draws on diary entries and family members to pay tribute to her daughter Carrie who passed away from cancer at the young age of 38 in 2002. Carrie had her own share of struggles, battling addictions and self-esteem issues at a young age. She tried to make it on her own as an actress, singer, and writer. Carrie was writing a book at the end of her life entitled “Sunrise in Memphis”. She would send pages to her mother over the years. Those pages, as well as other memories and moments, are included in this book. Her work remains unpublished.
I think it is so rare to hear a story of mothers applauding daughters. It can often be the other way around. This one is great to enjoy as an audiobook as well, as it is read by Carol Burnett herself.
Summer Island by Kristin Hannah
Genre: Women’s Lives & Relationships
Publication Year: 2001
“As mothers and daughters we are connected with one another. My mother is in the bones of my spine, keeping me straight and true. She is in my blood, making sure it runs rich and strong. She is in the beating of my heart.”Kristin Hannah “Summer Island”
The mother and daughter relationship in this novel couldn’t be more different from my own! They were distant, resentful, and full of anger and hatred towards one another. Nora Bridge walked out on her marriage years ago and left her two daughters behind. Now she is a radio talk show host and syndicated newspaper columnist. Her daughter Ruby is a comedian wh uses her mother as fuel for her act. When the tabloids unearth a scandal from Nora’s past, Ruby is offered a fortune to write a tell-all book about her mother. Before agreeing to it, Ruby decides she needs to know her mother better. She returns how and finds that her mother is not the woman she has imagined after a decade of estrangement.
Throw in long-lost romances, family secrets, and illness and you have this novel with lots of moving parts. The characters are realistic and flawed, just like real human beings. Reading this book made me feel even more grateful that I had a close bond and relationship with my Mom because that certainly isn’t always the case.
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
Genre: Psychological Fiction
Publication Year: 2020
This book was very very twisted but so captivating! The relationship between Patty and Rose Gold is nothing short of complicated. Rose Gold lived her first 18 years believing she was chronically ill. Turns out, she was just being poisoned. Patty has just been released from prison at the start of the novel. Upon release, she moves back in with her daughter Rose Gold, who is now in her early 20’s and is raising a baby boy named Adam. This book is told from alternating perspectives of both characters and features a timeline that goes back and forward from the time of Patty’s sentencing.
Darling Rose Gold reads very well. The writing is evenly paced from start to finish. I was always wondering what was going to happen next and I could not predict it correctly ever! For more of a review and my star rating, check out my March Wrap Up post.
The Book That Matters Most by Ann Hood
Genre: Women’s Lives & Relationships
Publication Year: 2016
If this book hadn’t been selected as a monthly pick in my book club, I probably would have missed it. Ava is a reader. After her marriage ends, she joins a book club where she is challenged to present a book that matters most to her at one of their monthly meetings. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood that helped her through past difficulties. In an alternating perspective, Ava’s troubled daughter Maggie, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man in Paris. Ava’s mission to find her book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.
I was engaged in the writing and the story completely. It’s mainstream fiction, with writing that is light and which flows well from beginning to end. But even with its lighter writing style, it still covers themes of loss, grief, relationships, and moving forward. It’s also a book about books, which is a trope that I personally enjoy.
Not sure what a trope is? Check out What are Book Tropes? published last month.
Do you have great books about mothers and daughters to recommend? Let me know in the comments below or reach out on Instagram because I am always looking for suggestions.
If you are celebrating Mother’s Day this Sunday, Happy Mother’s Day to you!
Until next time,