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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Character Connection: The Other Mother

Character Connection


Every Thursday, The Introverted Reader hosts a meme called Character Connection, where she asks people to post about a character that has really grabbed hold of their imagination and carved out a spot in their little literary hearts.

For the month of October, Ms. Introverted herself is hosting a Helluva Halloween-inspired challenge: post a Character Connection that is Helluva Halloween appropriate and win some pretty neat things...


This week we're going back to Neil Gaiman for one of the creepiest characters I've ever read -- ever -- and she's from a kid's book.
I'm talking about the skin-crawlingly delightful Other Mother from Coraline:

A woman stood in the kitchen with her back to Coraline. She looked a little like Coraline's mother. Only...
Only her skin was white as paper.
Only she was taller and thinner.
Only her fingers were too long, and they never stopped moving, and her dark red fingernails were cruved and sharp.
...Her eyes were big black buttons...
At first the other mother seems good to Coraline; she is attentive and listens to Coraline, feeds her delicious things, and seems to care only for Coraline.  But Coraline knows there is something off.  When she meets the other mother's other victims, they tell her:
She left us here. She stole our hearts, and she stole our souls, and she took our lives away, and she left us here, and she forgot about us in the dark.
The other mother feeds on children and leaves them nothing of themselves, only "snakeskins and spider husks."  I found her so perfectly unsettling, especially for a kids book -- infact, I think that's part of what makes her so perfect.  You don't expect something so twisted, human but not, in a kids book, and it just ups the creepy factor deliciously.

If you haven't read Coraline, or you want to freak out your kids for Halloween, this is a perfect one to pick up.  And read it, don't just watch the movie.  Trust me.

6 comments:

  1. I haven't read this yet, or watched the movie, but that picture is SCARY!

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  2. ooo, good pick! mothers can be scary ;-D

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  3. Wonderfully creepy selection!

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  4. You are so right! The Other Mother totally freaked me out. And after seeing the movie, even more so. If I had read this when I was a kid, I would end up having suspicions of my own mom.

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  5. love love LOVE Coraline! The other mother is really scary! ><

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  6. I read the graphic novel and while it didn't blow me away, I have to admit that The Other Mother was deliciously creepy. I would have been terrified of her as a kid! Tapping those black button eyes with that long fingernail. *shivers*

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