Books for when you want to say “I wish to express my love for you, my mother, with a book about a mother making dangerously questionable life choices.”
1. Flowers in the Attic by VC Andrews
So, a mother makes her children live in an attic ‘temporarily’ so her own father doesn’t find out about them. She basically forgets about them, makes them stay in there for years, and eventually tries to kill them. Happy mothers’ day!
2. Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford
This is Christina’s memoir about life with her mother Joan Crawford. In it, she claims that Joan was abusive and neglectful, prone to violent outbursts and an alcoholic. The contrast between the title (if read sincerely) and the content could make for an especially passive aggressive mothers’ day gift, if that’s what you’re looking for.
3. Beside the Sea by Veronique Olmi
It’s a about a mother struggling with mental health problems and looking after herself, let alone her two young boys. She decides that everyone should see the sea at least once in their lives, so takes them out of school on a trip to the seaside. Even though I knew what was coming, the final paragraph was still very painful. An excellent and well-written little novella, but maybe not a mothers’ day gift…
4. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
Told in the form of letters written by his mother, Eva, it details Kevin’s life and Eva’s relationship with him from birth until he massacres his classmates at school, and kills his father and sister. Is Eva a cold, distant parent who can’t connect with her son, and this is what leads him to murder? Or has Kevin always been a Bad Child and there was nothing Eva could have done? Or is it somewhere in the middle? Or somewhere else?
5. Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie’s mother is an abusive religious fanatic, who locks Carrie in a closet for hours or even days when she has ‘sinned’ (‘sins’ include developing breasts or getting a period). This constant abuse, combined with bullying from her classmates, leads Carrie to kill about 400 people, including her mother.
Any other bad mother’s day book suggestions?