Monday, April 23, 2012

Famous Mothers I Have Known

If you’ve read a lot of books, you’ve met a lot of characters. Some of the people we get to know in books remain with us for life, fond memories. The examples they set for us often are just as influential as some living people we’ve known.

When I mention “Marmee," do you know right off who I mean? The mother in Little Women is not the main character in the story, but larger than life in many ways. Probably the most outstanding virtue she portrayed in that book was her wisdom to guide her four girls to womanhood. Do you recall how gently she counseled Meg about selfishness, lovingly corrected Amy’s vanity, counseled Jo in controlling her temper, and tenderly led Beth through the valley of the shadow of death? Who can forget her understanding and careful encouragement. She taught us lessons about the importance of motherhood.

Another unforgettable mother is Ma Ingalls, that quiet, gentle, and courageous pioneer mother. She was soft spoken, yet Laura and Mary dared not disobey her bidding. She preferred life to be comfortable and cozy and safe, but endured countless hardships, had the boldness to slap a bear, the steadiness to hold the horses crossing the flooded river, the strength to put out prairie fires, and the faith to face loss and disappointment with serenity. Can’t you just imagine her gentle smile, so often commented on by her daughter’s narratives? And can’t you just about hear her voice exclaim, “Oh Charles!”

Mother’s Day is three weeks away. I thought it would be great if some of you wrote in with your favorite mothers from literature.

I also thought it would be fun to have a little drawing for a prize, a special gift to you for Mother’s Day. How about a book? I think books make the loveliest presents.

So, who are the memorable moms you have met in the pages of books? Leave a comment on this post and we’ll enter your name in the drawing. On May 7, a week before Mother’s Day, we’ll announce the winner and get your gift in the mail to you. Share as many times as you like.

For the joy of reading,



  1. I can't think of a literary mother I like better than Marmee from Little Women, even though she's an rather obvious choice. I love Caroline, too, but Marmee definitely wins.

  2. Oh. I love Caroline Ingalls! I have such admiration for her (and countless other pioneer women) who picked up and left everything they knew to pursue a different life. As we're seeking to life a modern version of that life, I can appreciate in a small way what she must have endured with such grace.

  3. The mother from Little Britches, and the mother from "Wild Geese Flying"! They're both such good mothers, trying to do what is best for their children, but their humorous flaws make them true to life. (Like in Little Britches, Mother's New England outlook and lifestyle trying to cope in Colorado.)

  4. I recently read Little Men and Jo's Boys and discovered what a wonderful mother Jo turned into. I could learn so much from her example in raising her boys (and girls).

  5. I would have to also say Carline Ingalls is way up on the list. Right now we are reading Anne of Green Gables and I really have a special place in my heart for Anne's adopted mother, Marilla.

  6. " I wish you knew my mother." Thus the story begins of The Hawk and the Dove ( Penelope Wilcock). "Eyes that went straight past the outside of you and into the middle, which meant you could relax about the torn jersey, the undone shoe...." and " I wish you could hear the stories she told in her quiet, thoughtful voice. I wish you could take in the magic of that breathing, candle-lit room which she filled with people and strange ways from long ago. "

    One of my favorite book trilogies!

  7. Marmee is of course classic. I also like the mom Anne becomes in the later part of the series. She is kind and fun, steady and strong. And because you've spent so much time getting to know her as she grows, it makes me appreciate her as a mom even more.

  8. I hate to sound repetitive but my first thought was Ma Ingalls! She is such an inspiration!

  9. We just finished Heidi last night and we were all so sad to say good bye for now! (There are still more though yay!) As soon as I read the last line I knew what I was going to write about here! Neither Heidi nor Clara had mothers but what incredible grandmothers they had! Peter's grandmother, adopted by Heidi as well, was so inspired by the words of the hymns Heidi read to her that it made US get out our hymnals and sing a few after we finished reading! Clara's Grandmamma was so kind and led her to the words of the Bible to encourage her during such a hard time. She was forgiving, understanding, and so generous to Peter and his family as well. Both grandmothers encouraged Heidi in the Lord and strengthened her faith. I want to be that kind of mother and grandmother! One who wants to love and reach out to not only my own children, but others as well. We will not soon forget the lessons taught and so tenderly dealt with by the Grandmothers in Heidi!

  10. I love Marmee, too...probably the most memorable mom for me, along with Ma Ingles who is inspiring to me even more now than when I was a child. Other favorite mothers I've recently met in the pages of books include Hannah Coulter of the book by the same name and Abbie McKensie of "A Lantern in Her Hand."

    Thanks for a fun giveaway!

  11. I'm still addicted to Little House on the Prairie, so Caroline it is. Thanks for your resources!