I like Stephen King, I think he observes people much more keenly and realistically than any “serious” or “literary” author. I saw “Hearts in Atlantis” on TV tonight- I have thought about getting the book, which I can see is different, but it was on so I watched it.
The single mother in all our conventional art and entertainment is always a sainted figure. The only bad mother I can think of was on “The Sopranos”. In “Hearts in Atlantis” though the single mother is a silly, selfish bitch.
I think having a bad mother is a really serious handicap, one of the worst. It plagued Tony Soprano to the end. I suspect David Chase had a mother like that- Mario Puzo said he based the character of the Godfather not on any Mafia guy, but his own mother. I think seriously dysfunctional mothers are a lot more common in Catholic and Jewish culture.