Mother’s Day is upon us again and, thankfully, this year’s celebration finds us in a happier place than in 2020. With tentative steps we can now reach out to each other for hugs and limited family gatherings, a reality that would make Anna M. Jarvis, founder of the special day, very proud. Following the death of her mother in 1905, Philadelphia resident, Anna M. Jarvis, organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration on May 10, 1908. Subsequently, she lobbied for the creation of a national Mother’s Day holiday and, on May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as “Mother’s Day.” Ironically, years later, Jarvis became so incensed at the commercialization of the day that she spent the remainder of her life (she died in 1948) and her inheritance trying to rescind the holiday she had worked so hard to create.
So, however we chose to celebrate, let us give a shout out to Moms everywhere by reflecting on the value of family, in good times and bad. The following books provide nuanced takes on various aspects of motherhood.