Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Memorable Moms in Literature

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

The official topic is ~ Mother’s Day related Freebie: favorite moms in literature, books about motherhood, best mother/daughter or son relationships, books to buy your mom, worst moms in literature, etc. etc.

First off, shout-out to the best mom in the world! She inspired my love of books by reading me countless children’s books until I was old enough to read them to her. And the rest is history.

This topic was so open-ended I wanted to go in 3 different directions at once. I settled on highlighting 10 memorable moms in literature, whether noted for their sage advice or annoying presence. A few of these are non-traditional “moms”, being mother figures (sometimes reluctantly) to motherless or orphaned children for a large part of the story. Like in real life, these women who choose to love are just as important to recognize as key leaders in these little ones’ lives.

10 Memorable Moms in Literature

1. Mrs. Bennet in Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

She was the first notable mother that came to mind, mostly because of her obsessive and nervous tendencies. On the surface, she just wants to marry off all of her children ASAP. But, I think beneath her actions is a mother’s heart that wants to see her girls cared for in the long term.

A Flight of Arrows2. Good Voice (Two Hawks’ mom) in The Pathfinders series (The Wood’s Edge and A Flight of Arrowsby Lori Benton

Good Voice is of exceptional character. Through her eyes, especially as book 2 progresses, readers see the sacrifice she had to make as a mother and the continued sacrifices she was willing to make in order for her adult children to be at peace.

3. Mrs. Hale in North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Obviously, Mrs. Hale is memorable for her annoyance and frailty. At least that’s how I remember her. She did not have the strongest of mindsets through the ups and downs her family faced, but she was loved and cared for by Margaret just the same.

Evergreen4. Ingrid Christiansen in the Christiansen Family series by Susan May Warren

She’s an encourager, always showing her adult kids grace in a different way. Her heart is really revealed at the beginning of each book in the series, where readers are treated to a letter from her perspective, told like a journal entry to her children.

5. Caroline Ingalls (“Ma”) in the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

These books hold a special memory for me and my mom. This is the first series I remember us reading together when I was little. I recall Caroline as a resilient and resourceful mother, always working for her children’s happiness. She was always ready to share encouragement or wisdom with them, teaching them important lessons of friendship and faith.

a-portrait-of-emily-price6. Donata Vassallo (Ben’s mom) in A Portrait of Emily Price by Katherine Reay

Though she has minor page time, she commands what scenes she’s in with an unmistakable passion and demeanor. She loves her children fiercely and serves as an example of changing family dynamics as she adjusts to her new role as Emily’s mother-in-law.

just-the-way-you-are-by-pepper-basham7. Eisley Barret in Just the Way You Are by Pepper Basham

Eisley is a single mom successfully juggling her career and 3 spunky kids. She’s realistically portrayed as a loving mother in all the chaos and humor of everyday life. She is memorable for her flexibility and selflessness that spills over into other areas of her life.

Non-traditional mother figures:

the-mark-of-the-king-by-jocelyn-green8. Julianne Chevalier in The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

Without giving too much away, Julianne finds herself in a new world during this story (French New Orleans). Toward the latter half of the book, she becomes the mother figure to a precious half French, half Mobile Indian little girl, showing her such tender care in an unsettling world.

9. Sophie Menzies in The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

What starts out as a friendship between Sophie and her neighbor’s daughter, Lily Cate, becomes a deeper relationship as the story goes on. Sophie is a natural mother!

727431810. Elle Drake in More Than a Promise by Ruth Logan Herne

This book is a contemporary marriage-of-convenience story, so Elle becomes an instant mother to 3 hilarious and rambunctious boys. It’s been a long-time dream of hers to be a mother, so to see it realized in an unexpected (albeit challenging) way is quite fun.

That’s it for my list. Have you read any of these books? What is a memorable “mom” in book you’ve read?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Reasons I Love Period Dramas

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

This week’s topic is open-ended: 10 reasons you love _______. So, I’m taking the opportunity to ramble in delight over period dramas, whether they be film, television, or series productions.

Top 10 Reasons I Love Period Dramas

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes! AND it is a true story!

The Young Victoria. So many amazing costumes!

1. History

As a fan of both history and historical fiction, what better way to combine story and facts than a period drama?

2. Costumes

Cravats.

Cravats.

Style HAS certainly changed over time, and it’s fascinating. I’m thankful to live in a modern era where comfy pants are acceptable. But I love seeing the elegance and class of past eras. And cravats. Need I say more?

3. Musical Scores

Essential to enhancing a story, if you ask me! I spent a previous topic talking about some of my favorites.

William & Georgiana (James Norton & Eleanor Tomlinson) in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

William & Georgiana in Death Comes to Pemberley miniseries

4. Various Story Formats

Series, movie, miniseries. All great for different reasons.

5. Often adapted from books

Books + visual representation of setting + amazing casting = perfect recipe for a perfect period drama.

The Bennett sisters.... I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

The Bennett sisters…. I love the way they are portrayed in P&P 2005!

6. Portrayal of Relationships

For some reason, period dramas tend to have a better grip on relationships — or at least they emphasize them. And I’m not talking about romantic relationships, but friendship, sibling, or parent-child ones. Think Anne and Diana in Anne of Green Gables, or the Bennet sisters in Pride & Prejudice, or the closeness of Jo March and Marmee in Little Women. Maybe it’s because our life is more complex now due to technology and travel, but fewer modern stories can emphasize and portray relationships with such gravity.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in "The Patriot". A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

Heath Ledger & Mel Gibson in “The Patriot”. A favorite film set during the American Revolution.

 

 

 

7. Love Stories

Call them chick flicks if you want, but I am a huge fan of love stories. And classifying a production as a period drama almost guarantees some part of the story will involve characters finding love and, hopefully, happiness. Which brings me to….

 

Little Women

Little Women

8. Happily-Ever-Afters!

Yes, I’m aware that not every period drama ends with a happily ever after scene. And that’s ok, I still like some of those! But I’m a sucker for a good ending. Or at least one that offers hope and maybe leaves you wondering about the rest.

 

 

 

9. Variety of Sub-Genres

Mystery, suspense, war, drama, romance, comedy, true stories.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

North and South 2004. Drama, love, & social commentary in my favorite miniseries.

10. Vocabulary

A little item, yes, but SO important. Language and vocabulary are two more things that have changed so much with time. It’s so interesting to be reminded how people spoke.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

Henry Tilney & Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey adaptation.

And, sometimes learning new words is a fun bonus! Examples: Plimsolls, quixotic, taciturn.

 

 

 

 

It’s your turn! Why do YOU like period dramas? Or do you prefer another genre of film/TV? Please share your thoughts below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Music & Books (or, my favorite music from book to screen adaptations)

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

This week’s theme is books we’d give theme songs to or songs we wish were books. Well, I’m stretching it a bit and going with my favorite instrumental music from book adaptations. If music with no words is not usually your thing, I get it. I really do. But, trust me here, you might just be captivated by the emotion and beauty in some of these themes.

 

Top Instrumental Music from Book Adaptations

1. Poldark by Winston Graham – “Theme from Poldark” composed by Anne Dudley (BBC series)

2. Emma by Jane Austen – “Knightley’s Walk” composed by Samuel Sim (2009 BBC series)

3. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – “Northbound Train” composed by Martin Phipps (2004 BBC series)

4. & 5. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – “Mrs. Darcy” and “Leaving Netherfield” composed by Dario Marianelli (2005 Focus Features film)


6. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – “Orchard House” composed by Thomas Newman (1994 Columbia film)

7. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper – “Main Title” composed by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman (1992 Fox film)

8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – “Tara’s Theme” composed by Max Steiner (1939 MGM film)

9. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – “My Father’s Favorite” composed by Patrick Doyle (1995 Sony Film)

10. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans – “The Rhythm of the Horse” composed by Thomas Newman (1998 Buena Vista film)

What are some of your favorite series/film themes or scores? Have you seen any of these? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday Wonderings, edition 4

It’s another “Wednesday Wonderings” question!

Wednesday Wonderings

What are your favorite book to film adaptations?

And by film, let’s say that miniseries count, too. From YA to classics, and everything in between, what works do you think have been adapted closely or the best?

Some book-to-movie adaptations are perfect, and some are just “visual aids” for their books. Here are a few that I think did an excellent job staying close to the book, or their adaptation interpreted the book in a way I LOVED.wpid-photogrid_1428888927817.jpg

Pride & Prejudice (2005 movie with Keira Knightley) One of my absolute favorite movies! Great cinematography, casting, and concise script to fit a movie time slot.

Little Women (1994 with Winona Ryder) The best story about sisters.

North & South (BBC miniseries, 2004) You knew this one would make my list, right? Such awesomeness in one series.

The Hunger Games (2012) Yes, I admit, I am a fan of Jennifer Lawrence. It stayed fairly close to the original book, too.

Emma (BBC miniseries, 2009) Maybe a little more idealistic than Austen’s book, but definitely a fabulous interpretation.

Occasionally, the book is significantly better than the movie. I think that’s the case with The Last Song (2010). The book had much more likable characters and more depth.

What are your thoughts? Do you have favorite adaptations (or maybe some not-so-favorite?)?