Read Remark Infographic - Books with Bad Moms

Infographic: Books with Bad Moms

It’s the holiday season, and what better time to explore books with family dysfunction? Namely, books with bad moms.

Watch my video for a quick rundown of these drama mamas.

I’m not talking about the fun-loving, perfection-shedding bad moms of the movie franchise.

The moms of these books provide bad, f-ed up childhoods that lead their offspring to have bad, f-ed up adulthoods.

Luckily, I don’t know anything about that, having had both a wonderful, loving mom and stepmom. Here’s hoping my boys don’t know anything about that, either (fingers crossed).

For me, these books with bad moms are vicarious, head-shakingly absurd reads. I hope they are for you, too. {{Hugs, if not.}}

Here are five favorites.


Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Emma and Cass’s mom has narcissistic personality disorder, and her daughters pay the price.

She pits Emma and Cass against each other in a competition for her love. Validates herself through sexual conquest. Marries men she can manipulate. Ruins lives without a second thought.


Purity by Jonathan Franzen

Purity is a bit of a slog; read my full review here. It does, however, offer an almost cartoonishly neurotic mother in the form of Anabel.

To be honest, after reading Emily Martin’s article on Bookriot, I have a new way of looking at these CRAZY, WHACKED-OUT women (imagine jazz hands here). The race to shock and amaze in the crazy-lady-game of one-upmanship has become somewhat harmful to women and mental illness. What seemed like fun when I initially read Purity now seems like yet another example of the poor put-upon guy, weighed down by this albatross of a woman who suffers from treatable mental issues.


Carrie by Stephen King

The tragic thing about Carrie is that her telekinesis could have been a gift with the right guidance.

Instead, she’s born to a religious zealot who harps on Carrie’s wicked ways. What could have been something wondrous and life-enhancing turns into a deadly and destructive force.


Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford

Reading this book puts Joan Crawford’s oeuvre in a new light. The calculating vixens on the screen seem more true to life through her daughter’s eyes.

Cold, manipulating, climbing, and vindictive; Mommie Dearest exposes the worst in Hollywood parenting. Whether you read it as truth or take it with a grain of salt, this book delivers a portrait of a mercurial, complicated woman.


Sickened by Julie Gregory

Sickened describes both what happened to Julie as a child and the feeling I have while reading it.

This nonfiction memoir recounts Julie Gregory’s childhood with a mother who had Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. In brief; the mother would sicken Jukie to gain attention and sympathy. After years of invasive surgeries and medical maladies caused by her mother, Julie came out on the other side. Not everyone does.


Happy reading? Not really. You may need a cookie and glass of wine to go with these.

Here’s a handy infographic cheat sheet of books with bad moms:

Read Remark Infographic - Books with Bad Moms