Top 5 Mother Figures in Literature

Everyone has a mother. Simple fact. But everyone should have a favourite book-mother too. Not to say our mothers are not up to scratch – mine is pretty amazing (not trying to brag) – but there’s always that one mother-figure (or several) who you are think are pretty awesome.
Here a few of my favourite mother figures in books:
1.      Marmee from Little Women and Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
Marmee is one of the kindest, intelligent women in fiction – let alone historical fiction. She has down-to-earth sensibilities, nothing but time for her children and still wants to give back to a community that has shunned her. If ever there is a more encouraging mother I will never know. But she has her little qualms, which make her more delightful in my opinion – her lack of tact is legendary, and whilst it is never meant maliciously it does create some humour within Little Women that is downright believable. Love her.
2.      Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
She is the best cook EVER! Not to mention a kick-ass woman. I wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her but at the same time I’d love to be invited to tea at her house. She’s thrifty, creative, kind and sassy and has all of the warm qualities every maternal woman should have. Love her to bits.
3.      Mrs Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
I know Mrs Bennett from Pride and Prejudice is very silly – if annoying – but I favour Mrs Dashwood. She can be a stubborn and slightly dim at times but she loves her daughters and she encourages their romances whether they be for wealth or not. She supports them and loves them and carries on when all is lost. To me she is a very realistic form of mother – down on her luck but willing to soldier on.
4.      Ma from Room by Emma Donoghue
A slightly odd choice but there is not a stronger mother out there. To have a child, born of rape, and brought up in a small box room for 5 years is traumatic. To do it with affection and care as Ma does in Room seems downright impossible, but it is based on a true story. Ma, although flawed, only wants what is best for her son and it is so harrowing and raw that you can’t help but praise her. Some may disagree with her choices but I for one think that the character of Ma is entirely unique and a fascinating character.
5.      Catelyn Stark from Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
Another strong mother. Heavily maternal – to the point of murderous – but also warm. She’s a difficult character to describe because she’s a great mum but she’s a flawed woman. She has a lot of pride and a fragility for family, some might call it ‘female fragility’ but it also shows the strength of her love.
There are five of my favourite mother figures in literature. There are plenty more to find but these are the five that spring to mind when I think of mothers in literature.
Happy Reading!


  1. I love this list! I mean admittedly, I've never read any of these mothers except for Molly Weasley (who is so awesome that she practically makes the post by herself, let's admit) but the way you describe them makes me really sympathise with them.

    I love your blog header, too - is it new? The paint sploshes are so beautiful and creative.

    1. Hey :) Oh God - Molly Weasley! - Who doesn't love her! The other mothers are really strong I think, and so is Molly, but she has that charming humourous warmth I just love in a character, particularly motherly characters.

      It is a relatively new header. I haven't been posting as much lately so it probably hasn't had the outing it deserves ;) haha x

  2. I just love how you described Molly Weasley. She’s also one of my favorite moms in books and I would love to have tea with her. Just imagine the good stuff she would prepare! I find Catelyn Stark a little too harsh sometimes but it’s true that she’s fiercely protective of her children and is actually a great mother to them. I haven’t read the other books you mentioned here but I’m thinking of reading Room soon and from your description of Ma, I think I’ll like her character. I really enjoyed this post Ellie ^^