Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is a Mother’s Day freebie.
The impact of a good mother and the way they enrich our lives is impossible to measure. Their sacrifice, love, compassion, nurturing heart, strength and commitment is what creates a beautiful future for the world through the children they raise. Mothers are true super heroes deserving of all the love and gratitude they receive.
I realized as I was going through my books, that the majority of them do not feature or mention mothers. If they do, it is as a very small supporting character. So today, my top ten is a list of book characters who could benefit from a good mother, whose lives would have been different with a mother’s love. Sometimes, the only way to measure the value of something is by the lack of it.
1. Raleigh Harmon of the Raleigh Harmon Mysteries
Although Raleigh had a loving understanding relationship with her father, it was cut short. Unfortunately this forensic geologist has never had a strong connection with her mother. This fragile relationship has only become worse as her mother’s mental health has deteriorated and Raleigh has been forced to put her in a mental hospital. She continues to reach out to her mother despite it all, but Raleigh has suffered the ache of the lack of understanding between them.
2. Joselyn “Snow” Whyte of From Winter’s Ashes
Nothing has been the same since the early death of Joselyn Whyte’s mother. It was the catalyst which turned her life upside down for the worse and put a barrier between her father and herself. Despite the outward appearance of a wealthy, privileged life, the truth is that Joselyn was left all alone to care for her ailing grandmother, dragged out to act as a trophy for her father’s ambitions, broken by the loss of her first love and an attack which left her suicidal. Now, someone is trying to kill her. Joselyn desperately needs the love, support and understanding of a mother, but she has to carry on without it.
3. Sebastian Jeffries of A Light in the Dark
Ever since his mother’s death when he was a child, Sebastian’s life has been spent on the run with his abusive father. Sebastian trusts no one and fears letting anyone close to him lest they discover the darkness of his life. When Tish Ransome reaches out to him, he thirsts for the normalcy of her loving boisterous family. Her cheerful persistence just may change his life, if he can ever forgive himself for what he remembers of his mother’s death.
4. Faith Prescott of Intermission
Faith is not like her athletically gifted and beautiful sibling, but she has a talent all her own. Unfortunately, her mother not only doesn’t appreciate her artistic talents of the theater, but is determined to mold her into her siblings’ image. This comes in the form of unfair restrictions, extreme criticism and verbal abuse which her weak father does nothing to curb. Faith does her best to show her the respect she hasn’t earned nor returned even though her mother seems to hate everything about her. Faith just wants the freedom to be herself and prove that she is the responsible daughter her mother can’t see.
5. Dane “Cardinal” Markowski of Talon
Dane is one of my favorite male characters ever, maybe because although he was born Russian, he is an American spy. Dane’s life was changed forever when he saw his father murder his pregnant mother. Following that his father, who is a General of the Russian army, tries to mold him into his image, through abuse and deprivation. Dane’s memories of his mother’s death haunt him and along with the loss of his sister, he isolates himself particularly from women.
6. Cameron Tate & Shaye McCormick of The End of the World
Without parents, both Cameron and Shaye end up in a foster home which more closely resembles a house of horrors. Unfortunately Shaye suffers the worst of if it while also trying to protect the younger children in the home. Despite her lack of a mother, she does her best to mother others. When Cameron arrives he acts as her only friend and tethers her to a cruel world she would rather leave.
7. Maria Vazquez of Far Side of the Sea
Although Maria is raised with the influence of other women on her father’s California hacienda, the death of her mother causes Maria to believe that she is a curse to others. Maria is allowed to run wild and believing herself beyond redemption she makes some unfortunate decisions which seemingly ruin her life and her chances with the only man she has ever loved.
8. Feya Broon of Within the Veil
Feya’s life changes completely upon the death of her mother. Her father drinks his life and wages away and as the oldest sister she becomes the caretaker and appointed provider of her younger siblings. Her desperation to fill their hungry bellies leads her into theft and the custody of an English palace guard who must transport her across Scotland to be sentenced.
9. Shiloh Buchannan of Birdie Saves the World
Even though he has defied the odds and the gossip to become a successful billionaire, Shiloh Buchannan is still trying to live down the shame of being from the wrong side of the tracks. His memories of his drug addicted mother along with the neglect and abuse he suffered still haunts him. While the things he had to do to survive have irrevocably scarred him. Yet he still holds out a faint hope that innocent Birdie O’Brien, whose family betrayed him, will be able to see beyond his past.
10. Maggie Montgomery of Just Between Me & You
After witnessing her mother’s drowning, Maggie runs hard and fast from the memories which haunt her nightmares. Not only does this event ruin her relationship with her father and sister, but she becomes careless with her own life. Now, she has to return home to become the guardian of her drug addled sister’s daughter. But her memories of her own mother hinder her ability to mother her niece and to reconnect with her only remaining family.
11. Jude Keller of The Passion of Mary-Margaret
I honestly can’t think of a worse mother in any story I’ve ever read. Jude Keller would have been better off having no mother at all, than the one who raised him. Without giving too much away, her treatment of Jude leads him into a life of degradation and shame, driven by the shadows of things no child should ever suffer. Yet, even with all he suffers, it is love which will redeem him.
I like to think that had these characters’ mothers lived or been decent parents, their lives would have been less traumatic and challenging. And yet, their lack of a loving mother makes their stories all the more interesting and rewarding.
Have you read any books in which the lack of a loving mother significantly impacted the main character?