Novels about women and their crazy moms?
October 17, 2008 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Novels about women and their crazy moms?

Hit me!
posted by It ain't over yet to Human Relations (33 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Mommy Dearest
posted by Class Goat at 10:56 AM on October 17, 2008

White Oleander
posted by kimdog at 10:57 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

She's Come Undone?
posted by uncleozzy at 11:02 AM on October 17, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
posted by pised at 11:05 AM on October 17, 2008

Mommy Dearest is not a novel (though its accuracy is a subject of debate).

Lady Oracle and The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood.
The Empress of One by Faith Sullivan
posted by orange swan at 11:10 AM on October 17, 2008

Postcards from the Edge.
posted by pazazygeek at 11:11 AM on October 17, 2008

Anywhere but Here (teenage girl and her crazy mother).
posted by desjardins at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2008

Why Moms are Weird by Pamela Ribon.
posted by shesbookish at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2008

cassandra at the wedding by dorothy baker is a book about sisters and sisterhood, but the dead mother is in the shadow of the sister's lives all the time, and the author wrote it partly based on her relationship with her daughter.
posted by iamnotateenagegirl at 11:30 AM on October 17, 2008

Possibly A Girl of the Limberlost; the main character's mother seems to me to have borderline personality disorder, although the book certainly predates the term.
posted by shirobara at 11:31 AM on October 17, 2008

The Glass Castle. (this is a memoir, not a novel)
posted by maggiemae at 11:36 AM on October 17, 2008 [2 favorites]

The Corrections-Jonathan Franzen

The scope of the book covers a family, but I think there's something very central about the mother character and her relationship to her daughter and the world at large that was pretty stunning. I didn't expect it to like it as much as I did.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:38 AM on October 17, 2008

Seconding kimdog- White Oleander - Janet Fitch
Oranges Are not the Only Fruit - Jeanette Winters
Daughter of the Queen of Sheba - Jacki Lyden
Sybil (many have disputed this book's accuracy, so it is thought to be more fiction than non) - Flora Rheta Schreiber

Nonfiction (I know you didn't ask this, but fwiw):
The Liar's Club and Cherry by Mary Karr
The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Prozac Nation - Elizabeth Wurtzel
Sickened - Julie Gregory
posted by December at 11:45 AM on October 17, 2008

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

"When Sidda asks her mother, the aging belle Vivi, for help in researching women's friendships, Vivi sends her daughter a scrapbook. From this artifact of Vivi's own lifelong friendship with three women collectively known as "the Ya-Ya's," and from Sidda's response to it, a story unfolds regarding a dark period in Vivi and Sidda's past that plagues their present relationship."
posted by kidsleepy at 11:48 AM on October 17, 2008

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson.
posted by xo at 11:59 AM on October 17, 2008

One True Thing
posted by twiki at 12:15 PM on October 17, 2008

Who Do You Think You Are is another memoir.
posted by purplecurlygirl at 12:24 PM on October 17, 2008

Big second on "The Liars Club" by Mary Karr -- a great book, and one that gives the true flavor and vernacular of southeastern, coastal Texas in particular, Texas in general, and Texans. I've lived in Texas for 30 years, and have an outsiders perspective in many ways, in reading this book I found Texas characters that ring true, including Karr; she nails it. A great read.

"The Book of Ruth" by Jane Hamilton. One of the most beautiful books I have ever read. And no, the storyline isn't beautiful; a horror show, life as gritty as it gets, and as sad, but Hamilton is one hell of a writer, and weaves one hell of a story, which, amazingly, leaves me with hope.
posted by dancestoblue at 12:36 PM on October 17, 2008

Does Pride and Prejudice count?
posted by mynameisluka at 12:47 PM on October 17, 2008

"In Her Shoes" by Jennifer Weiner is, like iamnotateenagegirl's answer, a book about the relationship between two sisters, but their childhood relationship with and memories of their deceased mother figures into the story pretty heavily.
posted by lemonwheel at 1:31 PM on October 17, 2008

Carrie- Stephen King
Flowers in the Attic?
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 1:48 PM on October 17, 2008

Not a novel, but a memoir. Tender to the Bone is a book I recently read and enjoyed. I liked its story of a sensitive girl who spends a lot of time dealing with her unstable mother-- including trying to protect family guests from eating the (literally) rotten food her mother cooks. The girl eventually grows up to be an award winning chef and eventually a New York Times food critic. At the end of each chapter, she adds a recipe for the food that was previously mentioned in the memoir. Enjoy!
posted by seasparrow at 1:52 PM on October 17, 2008

Her Mother's Daughter (Marilyn French). I don't know how crazy you need, but the mom in this is real life crazy, caught up in class issues, poverty, disappointment, and stuff.
posted by b33j at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2008

Not a novel, but I just read a great short story called "Wildwood" by Junot Diaz (from last summer's New Yorker Fiction Issue). It's about a teenage girl in NJ and her abusive Dominican mother. It's pretty amazing.
posted by witchstone at 2:29 PM on October 17, 2008

Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson who later went on to write Gilead. It's a wonderful book.
posted by jessamyn at 2:47 PM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]

I've just been rereading Flowers in the Attic and following books (by VC Andrews) and they'd definitely count. Total pulp crap of course but oh so amusing because of it.
posted by shelleycat at 4:27 PM on October 17, 2008

Technically Housekeeping is about an aunt and her nieces. It's an awesome book.
posted by bluefly at 5:55 PM on October 17, 2008

Rhine Maidens, Carolyn See

The reader review on the Amazon link is accurate.

Many other novels by the same. Funny, sharp, and set up you up for serious let-down if you try to read Ms. See's non-fiction.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:02 PM on October 17, 2008

Geek Love.
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 PM on October 17, 2008

Linda Gray Sexton's (Anne's daughter) Mirror Images

Torey Hayden's The Sunflower Forest
posted by brujita at 10:03 PM on October 17, 2008

Seconding Anywhere But Here; it's by Mona Simpson.
posted by bassjump at 9:51 AM on October 18, 2008

Wait a minute... has nobody mentioned Sybil yet? 'Cuz I'd think any mom who would inspire her daughter to create an unprecedented 16 personalities in order to cope just might have to be crowned queen of the crazy moms.

Yep, she might just be the Worst. Mother. Evar!

"Have a nice trip see ya next fall!" *thud*
posted by miss lynnster at 11:02 AM on October 18, 2008

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