Happy May Calendar Girls!
Full disclosure, we don’t celebrate Mother’s Day at my house. I mean, it’s nice to have a day where everyone remembers to say “I love you Mom!”, but I kind of hate random gift giving. Sorry, tangent.
This week we’re celebrating books with great mother/daughter relationships! Family dynamics are one of my favorite things in a book, especially when they’re done right. Unfortunately parents are absent in a lot of books, and that’s one of the reasons I’ve been gravitating towards more adult fiction lately.
Before I go on to my pick I want to give a quick shout-out to The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan! I read this book last summer and just fell in love. I felt like it really captured the complexities of the mother/daughter relationship in a way nothing I’ve ever read before has. And it also made me feel like I understood my own mom better. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend.
Now on to my pick! My favorite mother/daughter relationship in a book is…
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
I read this book at the height of the TFIOS craze, right around the time when the movie was in production. I didn’t love the book, mostly because I psyched myself out from connecting with Hazel at all. However, I connected with Hazel’s mom in a really intense way. I read the entire book almost from the mom’s perspective, and it was SO. HEARTBREAKING.
Hazel’s mom is in such a difficult position from a literary standpoint. She has already gone through a period of mourning for Hazel, from the period when Hazel’s cancer looked like it was going to win. She is grieving for the life she thought Hazel was going to have, despite the fact that Hazel is still there. And since the book is written from Hazel’s perspective, that makes her mom seem kind of selfish. Hazel is 17 or 18 or something, so from her teen perspective her cancer is something that is happening to her, and nobody can understand. She can’t conceive that it’s happening to her mom too. How difficult that must be for her mom.
It’s so intense. Can you imagine losing a child? I have to actively stop thinking about it, because it’s so horrible to think about. If you’re a parent, you get it.
But, like, Hazel’s mom is trying to be a normal mom. She tries to treat Hazel like a normal kid. But she can’t figure out how.
God, the whole thing is so painful, and so sad. But you just can’t look away. Far and away, Hazel and her mom’s relationship was the strongest point of the book. And the movie adaptation handled it really well too.
Best Book with a Mother/Daughter Relationship
The Fault in Our Stars – Katie (that’s me!) @ Never Not Reading
Snow White – Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads
Certain Girls – Deanna @ Deanna Writes About
Little Women – Clarissa @ Clarissa Reads it All
Little Women – Ashley @ Inside of My Minds
American Panda – Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile
Vampire Academy – Dani @ Mousai Books
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Lucinda @ Lucinda is Reading
Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile, and is now be hosted by me (!), Katie, and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!