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Books to read this Mother’s Day for a real experience

Mothers are complicated, we all know that. They scold us because they love us. They get emotional over the slightest things but show courage when everything is going down. I have always wondered about the silent battle and the fragile strength mothers have. This Mother’s Day, thank your moms and mother figures for all they have done and endured. Make them believe that they deserve all the happiness in the world, even if they feel like they do not. And lastly, take them out for a brunch and reading date because what is more enchanting than some quality time together. We have curated a list of book recommendations for you or your mother to read this Mother’s Day. If you end up reading any of these, please leave a comment to let us know!

 

  1. Mom And Me And Mom

Author- Maya Angelou

Genre- Autobiographical

African-American poet, singer, actress, writer, director, producer, composer, and civil rights activist ,Maya Angelou wrote seven autobiographies, the last of which, “Mom & Me & Mom,” was published at the age of 85. This final memoir focuses on the author’s relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter, a small but fierce woman who helped shape the strong, independent woman that Angelou became. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1912, Vivian was raised by a father who taught his children to fight.In the book we witness the relationship between Maya and Vivian, a complicated one but also a symbiotic one.

With her mother’s help, Angelou secured her first job as the black conductress on a San Francisco streetcar when she was a teenager. After that, the slender, six-foot-tall Maya worked a number of occupations, such as cook in restaurants, singer/dancer in strip clubs, and actress in a touring production of “Porgy and Bess.” Angelou, worried about working at a nightclub, asked her mother for assistance, and Vivian assisted in creating costumes that were just revealing enough. Vivian made Maya, The Maya Angelou, the dynamic woman we all know of today.

 

2.The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments

Author- Margaret Atwood

Genre- Dystopian Fiction

The books are based in Gilead which was initially a part of the United States Of America and has gotten converted into a totalitarian society. Gilead treats women as property of the state and takes desperate measures for the plummeting birth rate. The fertile women (already having a child/ not, with a college degree/homeless/doctors) are forcefully trained to become Handmaids, something Aunt Lydia is a very prominent part of. Book 1 has been written from Offred/June’s point of view and she is commander Fred’s handmaid. Some women are brainwashed into thinking it’s the only option whereas some are still courageous. June Osborn belongs to the latter category. She is rebellious, valorous and desperate, desperate to reunite with her daughter and husband. It’s a very disturbing story at first but you kind of get used to the violence. The story writing is so engaging that you can’t help but turn the next page. It’s a very new concept and no one has ever written a novel combining everything a woman is insecure of , everything women have suffered in the past. Testaments is the sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale and is also the book that won the Booker Prize 2020. I had enormous expectations from this book and it quite met them. It is set 15 years after The Handmaid’s Tale and is narrated by Aunt Lydia. A very different side of the female comes into picture. From knowing the inhuman Aunt Lydia to getting to know about the reason for her brutality, this book is a real eye opener.It’s one of those books we can’t recommend enough, I truly want everyone to read it at least once but because of it’s somber and sorrowful plot I don’t have the heart to pick this book again.

 

3.On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous

Author- Ocean Vuong

Genre- Coming of age

A book that is filled with passion and made a stunning debut , is autobiographical and tells a story of a mother in the Vietnamese war. A mother whose son is writing a letter for her to read. A mother who does not know how to read or write. A mother who is imperfect and a mother who loves her son to death.His first novel also draws on elements of his life, to tell the coming-of-age story of Little Dog, the son of Vietnamese immigrant parents in the US. Through this novel, we see little dog following an American trajectory to become literate and eventually a writer. He has become the writer-narrator of the novel we are reading, which is framed as a letter addressed to his mother, even though she can’t read it. “What I am about to tell you you will never know … I am writing to reach you – even if each word I put down is one word further from where you are.” In the book we see the strained relationship little dog has encountered in her life and what each one has taught him.We also see the narrator’s love affair with a rather americanised girl called Trevor and the realizations that it comes with. He talks about his drug addiction in this letter and every other thing that ruined his life. But, after such a somber plot, you still would want to carry forward with the book, the reason being the writing. He has written this book like its poetry, which it is. His passion for writing can be seen through the pages and is quite infectious.

 

  1. The Joy Luck Club

Author-Amy Tan

Genre- Domestic Fiction

This is a story of motherhood and childhood. This is a story about 2 different generations of women and of four different families immigrated from China to San francisco. Four women , who call themselves The Joy Luck Club, meet every week to play the chinese chess like game called mahjong and to discuss their lives. These women talk about all the troubles they are facing raising their children in the westernized world and how things used to be so different back home. There is a lot of rift and misunderstanding between the children and each of the four stories is a unique one to read. Their daughters, who have never heard these stories, think their mothers’ advice is irrelevant to their modern American lives – until their own inner crises reveal how much they’ve unknowingly inherited of their mothers’ pasts.Amy Tan explores the often difficult, frequently delicate, and a deeply emotional bond between mothers and daughters with wit and compassion. Things get even more complicated as each lady opens up about her secrets in an attempt to discover the truth about her life. Because of Tan’s skill as a storyteller, readers are drawn into the intricate and mysterious lives of four Chinese mothers and daughters. She has the ability to portray what happens in every asian household beautifully.

By Dr. Vatsala Kaushik

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