Mothers (was: Re: Baby Announcement)

Rowland, Jennifer jennifer.rowland at
Thu Jun 29 09:52:43 EDT 2000

>> think this is an excellent assessment.  I keep thinking of all the
>> bad mothers in DWJ, and of how even the good mothers like Catriona
>> (from Archer's Goon) are kind of distant.  And now I think I'll
>> re-read _Eight Days of Luke_ because I'm working up a theory on the
>> whole mother thing and I want to look at how David's 'cousin' Astrid
>> fits into this, since she ends up in the mothering role.  Plus I
>> haven't read it for a while.
> I just reread Deep Secret, Does Janine win the prize for worst
> mother? That bit where Nick compares her to a boil he once had,
> Oh Dear! I've now started 8 days again and I realise I always
> thought of Astrid as one of the kids. Its only in 8 days that she
> really starts to grow up and take control of her life and David's.

Interesting description, Ven.  I'm sure Luke contributed to starting her
off on
the growing-up road.  Astrid is a character worthy of closer
examination, I
think.  (Whatever did she see in Ronald Price?  Or he in her?  They are
a very
ill-suited couple, I think)

I'm not sure I let Janine get the prize for worst mother quite that
though.  Marceny Listanian beats her by quite a way, in my opinion.  And
could also include the one we don't meet, also in SWM, who has Amanda
and Zillah
quaking with fear every time the phone rings.  (Any significance to
their names
beginning with A and Z?  Children from the start and end of her fertile


The one that horrifed me the most as a child (maybe because my own mother
was OK and I therefore couldn't relate to the really terrible ones) was one
of the good-but-distant ones- the one in the Ogre Downstairs who was fine,
and then married The Ogre and suddenly is agreeing to send her kids to
boarding school and then just *disappears*. I haven't read it for a while so
maybe it's another instance of the pov characters being children, who
naturally see all this as betrayal rather than trying to make the new family
work, but it still seems pretty bad to me.
And what about Milda? (Drowned Ammett). Good in the sense that she loves
Mitt, but an awful provider and also "brainwashes" him into trying to kill
Hadd, managing to not think about his being tortured as a result! (I've
always felt sorry for his sisters, though, ending up as just a note in the
glossary to the effect that they were killed in the Uprising.)
I've forgotten the name of Will's magus brother is Deep Secret, but his wife
strikes me as a good mother- this is another of the chaotic families. Not
exactly a main character, though. And Rosa in Magicians of Caprona is rather
like that too. 
In fact now I think of it most of the nurturing mothers seem to be in large
mad families/extended families (I think the Power of Three children- not the
humans or the underwater ones- have a good mother, and they live in a tribe)
and the bad ones seem to be more alone. Does this mean anything?? 
I have to read 8 Days again! Why is the reprinting taking so *long*!

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