Moms we love: Our 8 favourite moms in literature

In honour of Mother's Day, we've rounded up a list of our favourite moms in literature, both classic and contemporary.


When we’re reading a really good book, sometimes we wish that we could jump inside the story and live in that world. Sometimes we wish we could be best friends with the main character, and sometimes, we even wish the main character’s mom could be our mom, too. (Not that we don’t love our own moms, but who wouldn’t want another awesome mother?!)

In honour of Mother’s Day, we’ve rounded up a list of our favourite moms in literature, both classic and contemporary. Some of these are birth moms while some are adoptive mothers, but what they all have in common is an intense love and dedication to their children.

Molly Weasley from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series: Not only is Mrs. Weasley an amazing mom to her motley crew of Weasley children, but she also takes Harry in like he’s one of her very own. How could we not love her? (And her epic duel with Bellatrix Lestrange during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will always be one of our favourite moments as she defends her daughter Ginny.)

Ma from Emma Donoghue’s Room: Known to the reader only as Ma, this chilling novel is narrated by her 5-year-old son Jack. At the age of 19, Ma was kidnapped and has since spent the past seven years confined in a 12×12 room — Jack has never seen the world outside of this room. Despite their dire situation, Ma maintains a fierce love for her son and strives to teach him about the world outside the room.

Margaret “Marmee” March from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women: Is there a mom who has it all together as well as Marmee? With patience and grace she raised four daughters on very little money, while her husband was off fighting in the Civil War. We especially love her for some of her more unconventional views — unlike most 19th-century mothers, she doesn’t push her daughters to marry for money, and emphasizes the importance of education.

Ma (Caroline) Ingalls from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie series: Like many of the women on this list, Ma was the glue that held the Ingalls family together — but she did it as a pioneer woman without any of our modern conveniences! Ma is an excellent example of the gracious, selfless mother who will do anything to help her family — a character type that shows up frequently in literature of this era.

Marilla Cuthbert from Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables: Marilla is one of the most devoted adoptive mothers we know, even if she wasn’t a huge fan of red-headed Anne Shirley from the get-go. Marilla and her brother Matthew were hoping to adopt a boy to help out on the farm, but instead they got a chatterbox girl, who eventually warms Marilla’s cool demeanor.

Wendy Darling from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan: Maybe not a traditional mom, but young Wendy takes on the role of mother to Peter and the Lost Boys, as well as her own younger brothers, after they travel to Neverland. Although Peter initially entices the Darling children to join him in Neverland because they can remain young there forever, Wendy ends up embracing domestic roles and playing the part of a mother — especially to the Lost Boys who barely remember having such a presence in their life.

Reta Winters from Carol Shields’ Unless44-year-old Reta’s life is happy and ordinary — until it’s suddenly upended when her eldest daughter abandons her family and ends up begging on a Toronto street corner with a handwritten sign around her neck that says “GOODNESS”. Despite the shock, Reta meets this life shift with poise and strength, and her emotional development as a mother is heartwrenching.

Mrs. Lancaster from John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars: Hazel’s mom may be a bit of a helicopter parent, but can you blame her? As the mom to a 16-year-old cancer patient, Mrs. Lancaster constantly strives to make her daughter’s life the best it can possibly be, and makes sure she cherishes every single moment. Mrs. Lancaster puts her own life on hold to be there for her daughter, and we completely love her for it.

Who’s your favourite fictional mom? Share your picks in the comments below!

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