Penryn’s mother is interesting in that she takes up relatively few words in the story but seems to arouse a particular fascination for the readers. She is a multi-facetted character. At various times, she could be considered a terror, a victim, a dedicated mother, a fierce protector, and a dark shadow who looms over everything in Penryn's world even if she's not physically there in the moment. She can also be that funny person who does the odd thing that we'll never, ever understand.
Like most moms, she takes up a lot of psychological space in her daughter’s world. She has subtly and not so subtly shaped Penryn’s view of life.
I don’t consider the mother either a villain or a victim. Those descriptions are too one dimensional to describe her. I think of her as a fully formed person with a full life. Just because we see one or two aspects of her doesn’t mean she doesn’t have other facets that we might never see.
For example, Mom was also a wife at some time in her life, a school girl, a date, a daughter, a friend. Her being a paranoid schizophrenic now doesn’t change any of that. And schizophrenics aren’t born that way. It has an onset period, usually during the teen or early adult years. That means she was most likely “normal” sometime before we meet her in Angelfall.
Can you imagine what a transformation like that must be like? Anyone who goes through that kind of extreme experience deserves our respect and compassion and that’s how I hope the readers view her.
Originally posted on Sithereandread.com