Mothers and Daughters

Journalist and feminist Carrie Dunn has taken on 20 of fictions most divisive characters. Offering a fresh perspective on their motivations and actions; she re-examines their roles in the book and as part of a broader societal picture. 
While a few of these essays are ‘merely’ delightfully universal; others turn societal expectations on their head. 
From Lady Capulet to Marmee Marsh, not one but two Jane Austen creations and mothers from ‘high’ fiction to beloved children’s classics – Dunn sets out her stall and jumps right in. While some of her choices are well known to fiction fans; others have been paid scant attention in the past. 

I must admit to a certain trepidation when I spotted certain names in the index. What if Ms Dunn had got it all wrong? What if she didn’t agree with me! 
Anne Shirley, The Chalet School, Jane Eyre – these aren’t just books to me – they are lifelong buddies! Within moments my fears were allayed. Where I agreed; I tended to do so whole heartedly. Where I didn’t, I could feel myself forming mental arguments in defense of/or against/or from a different perspective – especially when the phrase ‘awakening feminism’ appeared!

At no point was I ever indifferent. Which is surely the point – Dunn encourages active involvement from her readers. She’s done the writing, but we’re supposed to join in with regards to the thinking!

From the sublime to the sickening – Mothers in Fiction is a great read; a good giggle and a talking point! Certainly, I’m very motivated to seek out those books I haven’t already read! 
It’s one you’ll dip in and out of time and again. I can’t wait to recommend this to my friends and family. 

Image courtesy of Crooked Rib (@Crooked_Rib) Publishing

Say hi to the author @CarrieSparkle
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Notes for the author:
Might I beg that Lady Catherine DeBurgh be similarly assessed for a future book? As an aunt – she was intimidating – as a mother she must have been frightful!

Great Expectations – does Miss Havisham count as a mother figure? That’d be a very interesting one to pick apart!

What of Vivianne Abbot Walker from the Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood? Or any of the combo’s from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe?

Virginia Andrews Flowers in the Attic though – that’d be a hard write.

Oooooh – I bet fairy tales would also throw up some fantastic characters to pick apart! 


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