As James Joyce once wrote, “Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world a mother’s love is not.” Sweet, right? While we’d agree that many of the most memorable mothers in contemporary literature (some real, some fictional) tried their very best to love their progeny, in most cases it just didn’t turn out so well — for either side. Check out our list of memorable moms, and be sure to add anyone who we’ve left off in the comments.
Flowers In The Attic by V. C. Andrews
It’s a good thing that Corinne Dollanganger is one of the fictional mothers on our list (although there are rumors that this horror novel is based on a true story), because she’s certainly one of the worst. As a new widow, Corinne returns to her estranged family’s home with her four children. But there’s a catch: in order to stay there, she has to keep the kids hidden away from her father (who is also their dead father’s half-brother) in the attic. Things are fine, given the situation, until one day she stops visiting them for an entire year. Later, the kids discover that she has both remarried and been trying to kill them with poisoned powdered doughnuts in order to inherit her father’s money.