The Best Books for Mother’s Day
If you’re looking for a book that celebrates women, we have a list for you. These stories explore motherhood—its challenges, its triumphs, and its tenderness—in landscapes across the globe. Included is a memoir by Maya Angelou examining the fraught relationship she had with her mother in childhood, only to find something new in their bond years later. There’s a classic read about four sisters and their mother in Civil War-era Massachusetts—that’s Little Women, of course. There’s a novel set in a post-apocalyptic world that teases out the terror and wonder of new motherhood in beautifully composed, delicate prose. There’s a contemporary classic about four mothers and their four daughters making their way in San Francisco over the course of decades. Some of these books about motherhood are well read, and some are newer additions to our bookshelves, but all will make you want to call your mom and start a mother-daughter book club this month. They’re also all great reads for Mother’s Day.
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
To Buy: $18.48, amazon.com
The moving story of Maya Angelou’s relationship with her mother is shared here, in a book that traces the evolution of their bond and the opportunities for healing and reconciliation they found in the journey.
My Name Is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
To Buy: $15.50, amazon.com
In this Elizabeth Strout novel, a hospital visit brings together an estranged mother-daughter pair who grapple with the trauma of the past in order to understand the present.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
To Buy: $14.40, amazon.com
The bonds between the four March sisters and their mother, Marmee, are at the heart of this classic book by Louisa May Alcott.
Everything Beautiful In Its Time by Jenna Bush Hager
To Buy: $15.99; amazon.com
Explore the charming, witty, and heartfelt stories of Barbara and George Bush, as told by granddaughter Jenna Bush Hager.
Becoming by Michelle Obama
To Buy: $11.89; amazon.com
This memoir by America’s former First Lady delivers a personal account of the experiences that defined the woman she would become, her greatest joys and disappointments, and what her time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue was really like.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
To Buy: $15.99, amazon.com
Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel is a story about unexpected motherhood and follows a young woman who becomes responsible for a 3-year-old and must reevaluate everything she thought she didn't want out of life.
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
To Buy: $16.99; amazon.com
This stunning novel explores both the wonderful and heartbreaking moments of motherhood and female friendship in nineteenth century China, with themes still so relatable today.
The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
To Buy: $15, amazon.com
This spare, moving book about new motherhood is set in a post-apocalyptic flooding world, a landscape that is filled with danger, but in which a mother and her child still find hope.
The Matriarch by Susan Page
To Buy: $14.79; amazon.com
Written by USA Today Washington Bureau chief Susan Page, The Matriarch recounts the public and personal details that helped shape two presidencies and define an era in American politics.
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
To Buy: $10.18, amazon.com
This poignant novel by writer Amy Tan explores the complex and tender relationships between four mothers and their four daughters over four decades.
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
To Buy: $10.42, amazon.com
Three daughters in crisis are called home by their ill mother only to discover new bonds between them all in Jane Green’s heartfelt tale.
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See
To Buy: $13.49, amazon.com
This novel explores the unbreakable bonds of family through the story of Li-yan and her daughter, Haley, who are separated by many miles but who yearn to find each other again.
What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
To Buy: $22, amazon.com
A young woman grapples with the loss of her mother and struggles to understand the shape of unexpected motherhood in this moving novel by Zinzi Clemmons.
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
To Buy: $8.79; amazon.com
This funny novel follows what happens when an architect and mother named Bernadette Fox disappears, leaving her daughter to put together the pieces of her life and try to track down the missing Bernadette.