Posts Tagged ‘Room’

“And al of my childhood memories are full of the things you did for me and even though I act crazy, I gotta thank the Lord that you made me.” -2Pac Shakur

In honor of Mother’s Day last week I began compiling a list of my top picks for the best, most memorable, or my favorite mothers in literature.

  1. Marmee March. For anyone whose read any of this blog before you will know how much I love Little Women. Marmee March is the mother I hope to be one day.
  2. Hester Prynne. The protective protagonist of Hawthorne’s masterful work, Hester Prynne really got shafted by a few lousy dudes. The book has spawned many great spin-offs including the movie Easy A and also the badly done movie version staring Demi Moore as well as a sci-fi novel When She Woke which is a futuristic re-telling of Hester’s struggle.
  3. The Mom from I Love You Forever. Though this mother is never given any title except for Mother she still stands out in my mind as an amazing character. I have yet to read this book without crying and feeling the urge to call my own mother up and rock her in a rocking chair. Munsch is able to capture the enormous cycle of life and death in very few pages.
  4. “In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines …”. Those twelve little girls are all under the care of a Parisian nurse named Miss Clavel who runs a Catholic Boarding School for girls inParis. Though technically not a mother, per say, Miss Clavel did mother the girls and love them like a mother. However, Miss Clavel got a little more than she bargained for when Madeline came to stay. Maddy was always giving Miss Clavel some kind of fright and it’s a wonder she didn’t die young from worry. A true gentle spirit and loving lady Miss Clavel was not just a nurse to the girls she also became their teacher, their guardian, their friend and of course, their mother.
  5. The Mother from Where the Wild Things Are. With Maurice Sendak passing away last week, I knew I had to include this mother. Though we rarely see her in the book, she is a super mom nonetheless. When troublesome Max (wouldn’t it be great if Max grew up to marry the equally troublesome Madeline (see #4) and their children were double trouble!) gets sent to his room without supper he imagines his room becoming a wild and magical forest full of mysterious creatures called “the wild things.” Max’s adventures with the wild things ends with his feeling lonely and homesick. Once returning to his room he finds that his supper is waiting for him, still hot, from his loving mother!
  6. Forced to choose which of her two of her children would die in a concentration camp, the title character fromSophie’s Choice, Sophie Zawistowski, lives in a self-destructive bubble of guilt for the rest of her days after the choice has been made. The heartbreak of her selection eventually leads to her death at her own hand. Consumed by guilt and self hatred Sophie is a pitiful character who had to make an impossible choice between her two children, something no mother should ever have to do.
  7. Upon first reading Anne of Green Gables I did not like Marilla Cuthbert at all. She was just the opposite from her delightful brother, Matthew. When older siblings, Marilla and Mathew decide to adopt a little boy to help them on their farm they do not expect to get the spunky red headed Anne Shirley, but, they do. After deciding to keep her, Anne earns herself into a special place in each Cuthbert’s heart. Though Marilla never really gets as attached to Anne as Matthew does, she still ends up loving the girl despite her best efforts not to.
  8. After her friends discover her “spy notebook” Ole Golly is the only friend left for Harriett (the spy) Welsch. Technically not Harriett’s actual mother, Ole Golly is actually Harriett’s nanny. However, like Miss Clavel (see #4) Ole Golly becomes so much more to Harriett. Constantly providing wisdom and love and insight to the young girl Ole Golly is brutally fired after a misunderstanding between Ole Golly and Harriett’s parents. As I was reading The Help I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between young Harriett & Ole Golly and Skeeter Phelan & Constantine. In The Help, Skeeter has just graduated from college (Ole Miss) and aspires to be a journalist. Upon returning home she finds out that her house servant Constantine has been brutally fired by her mother. Both books are great and I highly recommend them both.
  9. Ma from Room. A young girl is kidnapped from a college campus and forced to live in a tool shed. While spending many years in here she is impregnated and gives birth to a little boy named Jack. The story is narrated by Jack and through his young eyes we see the love that a child can have for their mother.
  10. Novalee Nation. Sixteen, pregnant, and moving across country with her boyfriend, Novalee gets a thread of bad luck when the boyfriend abandons her in a Wal-Mart in Oklahoma. Novalee lives in the Wal-Mart and even begins to give birth in the store until a strange local librarian breaks through a window to get her to a hospital. After the birth of the baby Novalee becomes quite a celebrity, but she sticks to her small Oklahoma town that she has adopted as her own and raises her baby with love and kindness for everyone (even that good-for-nothing boyfriend).

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“The world is always changing brightness and hotness and soundness, I never know how it’s going to be the next minute.”

Welcome to the month of memoirs! Before I get to the two memoirs that I have read for this month, I want to talk about a book I read back in March called Room by Emma Donoghue. As soon as I read about this book on IndieBound I knew I had to read it, and quickly! That was back in December and I remember really really wanting to read it at several different times. Over Christmas break at the Target at my parents house I had picked it up, read the synopsis, placed it in my buggy, and then I put it back on the shelf. Why? I am a teacher and I am poor and I had just spent a good chunk of my savings on Christmas presents and I could not justify spending over $25 on a book. I silently wished that my local library would get a copy soon! And lo and behold they did. Flash forward to March: I dowloaded a sample onto my Nook and I wasn’t sure what I thought of it. It is told entirely through the point-of-view of a five-year-old boy who has been locked inside of a one-room shed for his ENTIRE life. I didn’t think I could read an entire book written in that manner. However, one Saturday morning I was perusing the new book section of my local library when I spotted it! I quickly grabbed it, along with Unberable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi which is my first memoir for April! I ran home and read Unberable Lightness first. Then when I started Room, I could not put it down! I had to keep reading. I had to know what was going to become of Jack and Ma. Were they going to make it out ever? How did they get to be in that room in the first place? Who is Old Nick? Does Ma know him before? If they do get out, what is life on the outside going to be like for both parties!?

Fear not, the five-year-old narrator thing actually works for this book! You get the fear and the incomprehension from Jack and you also feel the frustration that Ma deals with. I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone who has not read it, even though you all know that when you read these posts I expect that you have read it. The book is that good! It’s so unexpected that I don’t want anyone who may stumble upon this post that may not have read it yet to have the surprise ruined for them. My only advice to you is to read it as soon as possible, you won’t be disappointed! A very quick and enjoyable read!

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