Authors of ‘Waiting for Callback’ Perdita and Honor Cargill’s Top Ten Mother/daughter relationships

Waiting For CallbackMother/daughter writing duo Perdita and Honor Cargill, authors of the brilliant ‘Waiting for Callback’, are experts in mother/daughter relationships now so they’re sharing their favourites from film and books. 

Coming up with this list was weirdly tricky – mums are absent or vile or too good (Marmee in ‘Little Women’?) in so many stories and we kept choosing top mums and then realising they mothered sons (we had to rule out lovely Kanga in ‘Winnie the Pooh’ which was sad).

So here goes…

We’re awarding the Oscar to (in no particular order):

Juno and her stepmother Bren in ‘Juno’.


Bren earns it for her take down of the vile ultrasound technician alone. They have such a believable and non-sappy relationship.

Morticia and Wednesday in ‘The Addams Family’


Morticia: Wednesday’s at that very special age when a girl has only one thing on her mind.
Ellen: Boys?
Wednesday: Homicide.

Obviously Perdita (Purdy) in ‘101 Dalmatians’


‘That witch, that devil woman. She wants our puppies. That’s all she’s after.’ She has 99 puppies at least one of them must be a girl puppy who very much appreciates her mum’s fierceness.

We’re awarding the Emmy to:

Binky and Binky’s Mum in ‘Made in Chelsea’ 


Although her mum’s babied her they do adore each other and Binky can always run home when it all goes wrong (again). We love watching Binky’s mum despairing of the men paraded in front of her – ‘A man at 23 is a bit like a girl at 15.’

We’re awarding the Carnegie to (in no particular order):

Marilla Cuthbert and Anne in ‘Anne of Green Gables’ 

Anne of GG

Although Marilla is seriously grumpy they love each other to bits and are clearly ‘kindred spirits’.

The mum in ‘Mary Poppins’ 

Mary Poppins

Once you’ve managed to find a flying nanny who can magically tidy bedrooms the best thing to do is to take a break from hands on mothering (and wife-ing) and go and join the suffragettes (ok, that only happens in the film but we’ll skim over that). Jane Banks will definitely come to appreciate her mother’s choices.  (Also weird piece of trivia: Julie Andrews writes children’s books with her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton).

Harriet and Annabel in Holly Smale’s ‘Geek Girl’

Geek Girl

The relationship between Harriet and her stepmother Annabel (stepmothers again) in Holly Smale’s Geek Girl series is real and funny (and the whole exhausted lawyer/mother thing resonates…).

Mrs. Bennett in ‘Pride and Prejudice’

Mrs Bennett

She’s never going to win points for intelligent conversation but she had a tough time of it (apart from anything else she’s horribly patronized by her husband) and statistically she did a pretty good job.  Also she didn’t stop her girls partying (*she gets more points from one of us than the other for that).  She probably got on best with Jane so we’ll go with that one.

Regina’s mum in ‘Mean Girls’

I'm a cool mum

Sticking with controversy here but one of us (so hard to work out which) feels very strongly that running off to be mothered by ‘cool mum’ in Mean Girls for the occasional weekend would be very nice indeed. (But we do appreciate that her relationship with Regina is pretty poor because of the TOTAL absence of respect).

The mum in ‘Owl Babies’

Owl babies

She knew all her babies would be just fine on their own, especially because her ‘think a lot’ daughter Sarah was in charge (and also because prioritized food).

Well, we definitely want to go and re-watch and re-read everything mentioned by Perdita and Honor! What are your favourite mother/daughter relationships in fiction? Tell us at @maximumpopbooks!

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Written by Sophie Waters

Sophie is the Head of Commercial at Maximum Pop! Having studied English Lit and Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, she came to MP! to satisfy her passion for books. Sophie is a diehard Hufflepuff and feminist. She's also a huge cat lover, and can often be found rocking her socks off at a gig.

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