Friday, April 03, 2020

Five top novels in the complicated literature of daughters & mothers

Amy Engel is the author of The Roanoke Girls and The Book of Ivy series.

A former criminal defense attorney, she lives in Missouri with her family.

Engel's new novel is The Familiar Dark.

At CrimeReads she tagged five of her "favorite novels that tackle the complicated bond between mothers and daughters," including:
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

When I was a criminal defense attorney, I often represented women who stood by as the men in their lives did horrible things to their children. And almost without fail, these mothers made excuses for the men or blamed their own children for the abuse. I saw it over and over again, and it forever changed the way I view mothers. Not all of them are equipped to want the best for their children or to do whatever it takes to protect them. This book explores that idea and the impact it has on a daughter whose mother chooses a man over her. And it contains one of my favorite lines in all of modern fiction:

“…under that biscuit crust exterior she was all butter grief and hunger.”
Read about another entry on the list.

Bastard Out of Carolina is among six books that inspired Kristen Arnett's first novel, Stephen Graham Jones's twenty books as great today as they were in the 90s, and Hanna McGrath's five favorite child narrators.

--Marshal Zeringue