When I saw this week’s Top Five Wednesday topic, my first thought was “Will I even be able to come up with five?” I have serious proclivity toward books with orphaned protagonists that are magical/lost heir to the throne/the key to everything/you get the point. But never fear, I delved deep and found some candidates! They’re all extremely different, but they make for great reading.
- Mrs. Bennet | Pride and Prejudice
As far as mothers go, Mrs. Bennet is one best enjoyed from a distance. She’s an incorrigible gossip, prone to hysterics, meddlesome and completely oblivious to how ridiculous she makes her family look. That being said, she is COMPLETELY HILARIOUS. She would drive you absolutely bananas in real life, but who doesn’t enjoy gleefully cringing as she flip-flops her opinions of people with alarming regularity, managing to convince herself that her new opinion was what she thought all along? I would also highly recommend the BBC six episode adaptation of this; it is remarkably true to the source material with much of the dialogue coming straight from the text. Reading Mrs. Bennet is fantastic, but watching her is painfully delightful on a whole new level.
- Sabriel | Old Kingdom Series
Sabriel isn’t a mother in her titular book, but she is a mother in Lirael and Abhorsen, books two and three in the Old Kingdom series. I would’ve said “spoiler alert,” but Sabriel came out in 1995. As the bell-wielding Abhorsen, she travels the Kingdom using a unique brand of necromancy to banish dead spirits who have been raised for malevolent purposes. Her duties keeps her away from her children a lot, but they never question that she loves them and wants the best for them. Working mom for the win!
- Ranka | Ouran High School Host Club
For those unfamiliar with this romantic comedy manga/anime, Host Club follows the screwball adventures of Haruhi, a girl who gets mistaken for a boy and is pulled into the ranks of her school’s elite host club. Her father uses the name Ranka in his work at a transvestite bar, and brings lots of fabulous flair to his motherly role. Both the published manga and television anime make Ranka extremely lovable, with lots of dramatic sighing and theatrics as she tries to protect independent-minded Haruhi. Every inch of this series is pee your pants funny, and definitely one to watch with your gal pals.
- Queen Amberly | The Selection
The secret is out. My guilty pleasure books are The Selection series, or as the Husband Unit calls them, “those books with the dresses on the cover.” Queen Amberly doesn’t get a lot of attention, but when she does appear, she’s described as a beautiful, gracious and kind mother and queen. She is a calming force in the political turmoil swirling through the palace, and shines the most later in the series. Early on, she was reluctant to get close to the 35 girls in Prince Maxon’s selection, fearful of missing them when they were gone. However, once the group has thinned she lets her guard down a little and offers them some key advice when the remaining Elite are on the verge of tearing their friendships apart. For a look inside her own Selection, check out the novella The Queen.
- Narcissa Malfoy | Harry Potter *SPOILERS*
Don’t be a hater just yet! I thought about putting Lily Potter or Molly Weasley, but this was too good to pass up. Yes, Narcissa rolls with the baddest of the baddies, but when it comes to her mom-sense, she is – dare I say it? – just as good as the other mothers. When she fears for Draco’s life after he’s ordered to kill Dumbledore, she gets Snape to make an Unbreakable Vow to protect him. She also loans Draco her wand after Harry disarms Draco. If I had a magic wand, I wouldn’t be loaning that sucker out! And let’s not forget the crucial moment, when she lies to Voldemort about Harry still being alive, simply because Harry has told her Draco was still alive. Because while Harry had survived two killing curses by then from Voldemort, the odds of him surviving a third would not be stellar. You’re welcome, Revolution. #Slytherwinning