Reading list

7 of our favourite mother-daughter relationships in fiction

From nurturing mother-figures, to dysfunctional families and first-time mums who are just trying to figure things out, we've gathered some of our favourite mother-daughter relationships in books.

.

Rachel's Holiday

Marian Keyes

All of the Walsh girls have an... interesting... relationship with their mother, but Rachel's relationship with her mum in Rachel's Holiday is unforgettable - it's completely relatable as Mammy Walsh sees so much of herself in Rachel and can't help but judge her more harshly than her sisters because of this, but never fails to contain Marian's trademark humour and wit (we don't think we'll ever stop laughing every time we remember the 'Easter Egg' story!).

 

Shopaholic Ties the Knot 

Sophie Kinsella

We've all done it. Worn a particularly ugly jumper because it was a gift, spent a holiday with some difficult neighbours or family friends, gone on a ill-advised date with one of her friends sons... We've all been guilty of going along with something we didn't particularly want to in order to spare our mum's feelings. Well, in Shopaholic Ties the Knot, Becky Bloomwood does that very thing, but in typical Bloomwood style, it means planning two weddings on different sides of the world...

 

After You

Jojo Moyes

Lou Clarke and her mum begin this book on difficult terms, following the events of Me Before You. However, as the story develops, we see Josie's and Lou's relationship develop as Josie steps away from her identity as a mother and wife, and starts to assert herself as an individual. It serves as a lovely way for us to learn more about this beloved character from the first book.

 

Olivia's Luck

Catherine Alliott

When Livvy's husband leaves her and her daughter after 10 years of marriage, in a house that's falling down around them no less, Livvy must rise to the challenge that her life has become and carve out a life for her and her strong-willed daughter that she can be proud of. With a host of hilarious and believable characters, Olivia's Luck is a book all about a mother navigating the world around her, while protecting her daughter from it as much as she can. 

 

Billy and Me

Giovanna Fletcher

While not technically a mother-daughter relationship in the traditional sense, the relationship between Sophie and Molly (Sophie's best friend, boss and mother figure) is one that we just had to include in this list. Molly is the typical mother figure that we've all read about and wished for - supportive, warm, caring and witty - she even owns a teashop! Sophie and Molly's relationship is a beautiful one, and Molly's caring guidence allows Sophie to find her happy ending...

 

The Accidental Mother

Rowan Coleman

Sophie wasn't a mother. That is to say, she wasn't a mother until her childhood friend tragically dies and leaves her two daughters, Izzy and Bella, in Sophie's care. Finding herself a first-time mum to two greiving toddlers isn't easy, and Sophie's life changes in ways she never expected. However, as she discovers the realities of motherhood (the good, and the bad) Sophie's designer clothes and lifestyle that were once so important to her begin to mean less and less.

 

Big Little Lies

Liane Moriarty

Now a completely addictive TV series, Big Little Lies contains a web of interesting relationships that we just can't get enough of, but of course we just had to include the relationship between Madeline and her teenage daughter Abigail. Abigail is at constant war with her mother, as she takes the side of her father (Madeline's ex-husband). Abigail sees herself as the black sheep in her mother's new family, and it makes for some fantasic reading.

 

Love books like these? Make sure to sign up for Page Turners - where every month we choose a book we think you'll love and offer you the ebook at an amazingly low price.

Related features