In May my IRL book club read books with a focus on maternal figures or relationships in them. Here's what we talked about.
Everyone seemed to notice the disparity and rather troubled duality of the role of mothers or maternal figures in literature. There are lots of children's picture books about the bond and reliability of mothers, then mothers tend to go to the background, if they're present at all, in chapter books, and then seem to become a catalyst for plot points, subject to, or participants in, or causes of abuse in books for adults, and it's just a bit sad that there's not more continuity there across experiences. The stories of functional and present mothers/grandmothers/aunts/sisters are stories that should still be told.
We noticed something else that seems to happen if the mother is not present. There often is a character who acts as a surrogate, the maternal figure that's not actually the mother. There are a lot of wonderful literary characters that fall into this category that are some of our favorites. Ms. Honey from Matilda, for example, fits this characterization.
It was a fascinating discussion.
What I'm enjoying about this "read a book on this theme" style of book club is that everyone has something different to talk about because everyone read something different. But by looking for the same thing, we all have the same thing to pay attention to in our different books.
Here's what we read and discussed for those of you interested in adding to your TBR list:
The Mother Daughter Book Club, by Heather Vogel Frederick
Becoming Naomi Leon, by Pam Munoz Ryan
Finn Family Moomintroll, by Tove Jansson
Life on the Refrigerator Door, by Alice Kulpers
Cheaper by the Dozen (and it's sequel), by Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live, by Heather B. Armstrong
The Help, by Kathryn Stockett
The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd
Matilda, by Roald Dahl
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Eight Cousins, by Louisa May Alcott
The School Story, by Andrew Clements
Next month our theme is Children's Books! You're welcome to play along at home :) Happy reading!
Site powered by Weebly. Managed by SiteGround