What are the best novels tackling motherhood?

asked by Anonymous
432 contributors
15 solutions
  1. 46

    #1The Joy Luck Club

    The Joy Luck Club
    The Joy Luck Club is a best-selling novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of a group of four Chinese women who meet together for mahjong and companionship. Later, their daughters continue the tradition.

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    Gabriel Valadez
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I need to read more about motherhood. You always want to embrace the role, and find out how to function through the hard times. The Joy Luck Club was a book everyone needs to read. It details the story of 4 women who come together to talk and play a game and continues on to their children."
  2. 43

    #2The Scarlet Letter

    The Scarlet Letter
    First published in 1850, The Scarlet Letter is a classic work by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Set in a Puritan society, it tells the story of Hester Prynne as she is punished and publicly shamed for having a child outside of wedlock.

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    Kenneth Bowman
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "This classic was the perfect novel to give to my niece who is a young expecting mother. I hope that the lessons taught in it can help her out, even if it might be too late for her."
  3. 41

    #3The Kitchen God's Wife

    The Kitchen God's Wife
    The Kitchen God's Wife is a novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of a Chinese mother, Winnie Louie, and her American-born daughter, Pearl. Winnie tells Pearl of her life in China, and Pearl discovers her mother's hidden depths.

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    Juan King
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "I really loved and appreciated this book. Although I am the father, it was very interesting and appreciated to read about different aspects of this families life and how it relates to all no matter what your culture or background is."
  1. 38

    #4Table 21

    Table 21
    Zoë Green, the television star of the moment has disappeared: the last time she had been seen was leaving the Evangeline's, the best restaurant in Tribeca and owned by her friend Roman Sabarese. Stanley Fitzgerald, an NYPD officer takes over the investigation, a mysterious kidnapping that can change the face of Italian mafia for ever. 


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    Diana Zhong
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I'm a relatively new mom and I thought it would be really enjoyable to read a great novel where the plot revolves around motherhood. Table 21 is not it. As far as I can tell, the book has little to nothing to do with motherhood. It looks interesting, but just is not the genre I'm looking for at all."
  2. 37

    #5The Poisonwood Bible

    The Poisonwood Bible
    The Poisonwood Bible written by Barbara Kingsolver is a historical fiction in piles of classic literature. The story involves an unexpected embark of a family in a mission to Belgian Congo.


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    Roy Patterson
    Written on April 30, 2018
    "The Poisonwood Bible is such a beautifully written story. It takes you into the heart of the African Congo with a family with a strong religious backbone. Everything they bring with them quickly turns out to be a hindrance rather than an aid, and the stories that develop are lessons that can be applied to most daily life situations."
  3. 34

    #6The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge

    The Mayor of Casterbridge is a classic fiction novel written by Thomas Hardy which follows Michael Henchard's life after he sold his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. 


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    Scott Berry
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "I was looking for a decent book about motherhood for my wife and ended up buying The Mayor of Casterbridge. Definitely worth reading, this book goes covers pretty much every single aspect of Motherhood I can think of."
  4. 32

    #7A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive (Dave Pelzer)

    A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive (Dave Pelzer)

    A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive is the first book in the Dave Pelzer series which is a collection of books where he shares his own story of the brutal and severe abuse he suffered as a child by his own mother. 


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    Rubén Guillén
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "As a parent myself, reading this book I felt horrified and sick. The book was interesting and I could not put it down once I start reading it; it was an unforgettable experience, and I had to hug my kids every time I read this book."
  5. 30

    #8The Bonesetter's Daughter

    The Bonesetter's Daughter

    The Bonesetter's Daughter is a novel by Amy Tan that tells the story of Ruth Young, a Chinese-American woman, who finds out the truth about her mother's life in China through her mother's own writings.


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    Gregory Rodriguez
    Written on April 28, 2018
    "The Bonesetter's Daughter is vintage Amy Tan - fascinating interplay between traditional life in China in the past, and today's lives of Chinese Americans. Her familiar motif is learning from the past to make better adjustments to our present lives. I gave this four stars, not five, because for me the beginning chapters about the protagonist's difficulties in her American life were too long and repetitive. But once Ruth, the young Chinese American struggling with her mother, gets a translator for her mother's handwritten memoirs, the book came completely alive for me. Ruth begins to find out the truth about her mother's past life. This section is a novel within a novel, and since her mother escapes from China and comes to America, this part of the book might well have made a more powerful novel on its own. In the segment on the present, Ruth's mother is approaching dementia, manipulative, negative, and secretive. Ruth herself is rather uninteresting, and her lover's daughters are irritating. Worst of all, Ruth's mother is palpably unpleasant. In her memoirs, however, she is revealed to be strong, wrong-headed as young people often are, and yet brave and loving. How on earth did this interesting and fully developed woman become the harridan mother of the first part of the book? The picture of China during the Japanese invasion and just before, during China's initiation into the world of early paleontology, is fascinating and new to me, and quite beautifully delineated. And the anti-secret message is more complicated than usual in Tan's novels: keeping secrets, she suggests here, can be either life-saving or deadly, and maturity may well be learning when to keep information to ourselves, and when it is vital to be open. Wonderful."
  6. 28

    #9The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale is a dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. Set in a totalitarian theocracy that has overthrown the United States government, the novel explores themes of women in such as individualism and independence.


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    Phillip Hanson
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "The main character, Offred (literally of Fred named after the Commander she serves) is the perfect blend of weak and strong. She tells us of her past and says, “When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.” But her life is not beautiful. And Atwood straddles the line of past and present, sending back and forth in a way that keeps you wanting more. Just as Offred wants more. Just as we all want more for ourselves and the generations of women coming after us."
  7. 25

    #10Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina is widely regarded as one of the best books ever written by Leo Tolstoy, which was first published in 1878. This follows the story of Countess Anna Karenina and her affair with Count Vronsky.


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    Shirley Jordan
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "Anna Karenina is considered by many to be the greatest book ever written. It's about Anna who ends her marriage after having an affair and how she deals with it afterwards. It's a well written novel. It's originally written in Russian, but it has been translated perfectly."
  8. 24


    Medea is a classic tragedy play written by the Greek playwright Euripides and translated by Rex Warner. With over 40 pages, this book is first published in -431 and published in 1993 by Dover Publications.

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  9. 20

    #12Little Children (A Novel)

    Little Children (A Novel)

    Little Children is a contemporary adult fiction written by Tom Perrotta. This tells the story of Todd, Kathy, Sarah, and Mary Ann. With over 300 pages, this book is published in 2005 by St. Martin's Griffin.


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    Donald Howell
    Written on May 1, 2018
  10. 13



    Beloved is a multi-award-winning historical fiction novel written by Nobel laureate for literature, Toni Morrison. It was first published in 1987 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.


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    Raymond Keller
    Written on May 14, 2018
    "This is one of those books where, if you have no taste or standards, you'll absolutely love. One of those pink-hat wearing freaks threw this at me. I thought perhaps it was their way of communicating, so tried to read a bit of it. Turns out, they didn't want to break a brick, and was just throwing trash. "
  11. 6

    #14Sons and Lovers

    Sons and Lovers
    Sons and Lovers is a novel written by the renowned English author, D.H. Lawrence. It was originally published in 1913 by B.W. Huebsch. It tells the story of a woman who treats her two sons as lovers. 

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    Debra Greene
    Written on May 10, 2018
    "I found this a very intriguing, complex, novel. It is a classic by DH Lawrence. The topic of motherhood is tackled in a very personal way."
  12. 0

    #15Look After You

    Look After You
    Look After You by Elena Matthews tells a story of Ava Jacobson, a mother of a prematurely born baby and the fiance of Sebastian Gilbert. Ava struggles to raise her baby alone and she finds herself falling in love with some other man.


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    Christian Jordan
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "I struggled a little with this one. While it is beautifully written, it was quite unrealistic to me. Even though the author managed to make me shed a tear or two and hold my breath because of the awful things that happened to a heroine, I simply can not get over on what she'd done. Not really on what she'd done, but when and how. She barely gave birth and... no, you read it for yourself. You might not have a problem with it ;)"


Best What are the best novels tackling motherhood
1The Joy Luck ClubBooks 46 Paid
2The Scarlet LetterBooks 43 Paid
3The Kitchen God's WifeBooks 41 Paid
4Table 21Books 38 Paid
5The Poisonwood BibleBooks 37 Paid
6The Mayor of CasterbridgeBooks 34 Paid
7A Child Called It: One Child's Courage to Survive (Dave Pelzer)Books 32 Paid
8The Bonesetter's DaughterBooks 30 Paid
9The Handmaid's TaleBooks 28 Paid
10Anna KareninaBooks 25 Free

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