The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han and Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson both resemble what a strong mother is in my eyes. There are two mothers in Han's Summer series that captured my heart. While one is the fun-loving, forgiving type; the other is the quiet kind of strength that you don't realize is holding you up until you've begun to crumble yourself. Matson's mother in Second Chance Summer is the epitome of what a mother/spouse is to be when times are beyond difficult. Her strength helped carry that family to a place that no one ever wants to go, but her love created peace among all the heartache.
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker and My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick are stories with mothers that look after their children and nurture them, even when times are tough. Walker's mother in Unbreak My Heart nurtured her daughter's broken heart, but also realized she couldn't put all the pieces back together herself. It was something her daughter must learn to do on her own - and that she did, with her mother's love near by. Mrs. Garret in Fitzpatrick's My Life Next Door reminded me a lot of my own mother. With multiple siblings I always admired the way she shared her love individually to each one of us. I never felt cheated.
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand and City of Bones by Cassandra Clare represent the true form of what a protective mother should be. Even though their worlds are among the paranormal and the elements they have to face are a bit extreme, I still value the will each mother has to protect their daughter, at all costs. From bumps and bruises, to that evil villain who is threatening to take over the world (or break our hearts), it's the mother who is there to protect them from harm. I know my own mother would have stepped in front of moving train to protect me. It's just what they do.
The Reece Malcolm List by Amy Spalding is an example of a mother taking a bit longer (about 16 years longer) to try on her motherhood pants for size. Sometimes it's better to be late than never show up at all. Another mother who had a few bumps along the way is portrayed in Holier Than Thou by Laura Buzo. Yes, she was a constant in her daughter's life (even through tragedy), but it took a bit of time to kindle that mother/daughter relationship. I respect these mothers because they're a true example of what it's like when life isn't always easy, and we don't always make the best decisions.
When a mother/daughter relationship is told in story form it gives the reader a chance to reflect on their own lives, and their personal relationships. Each of these novels did so for me and that is why I chose to highlight them today. I think of my mother often... her strength, her love, the way she always protected me, and how her work is never truly done -- even ten years later, it lives on... through me.