Mother Knows Best Book Review


Susan Shalikar, Writer

Many people have heard the story of Disney’s character Rapunzel. But have you ever wondered what made Mother Gothel so evil? As a part of Serena Valentino’s Villain series, she provides curious Disney fans with the backstory of Tangled’s Mother Gothel in Mother Knows Best: A Tale of the Old Witch

The book begins with Gothel as a young girl. She lives in the dead woods with her mother, Manea, who is the Queen of the Dead. Manea controls the dead given to her by nearby villages. Gothel also lives there with her sisters Hazel and Primrose. They are triplets but look nothing alike. Their mother usually tells them they are disappointments because in the magic realm, having identical witch daughters was a great honor. 

After Gothel kills their mother, her sisters get fatally ill and die. The only thing that can bring them back to life is the golden flower, Rapunzel. However, when the guards take the flower for their Queen, Gothel takes the baby to save her sisters. That is where Disney’s Tangled and Serena’s telling of Gothel’s story meet but with a few twists. 

“The world is dark, selfish, and cruel. If it finds the slightest ray of sunshine, it destroys it.”

Quote from Mother Knows Best

Overall, the book is 4.5 stars out of 5 for me. This book is a quick read and is standalone, which is nice if you do not want to read the whole series. The storyline of this book is entertaining. I like that we get to see Mother Gothel’s backstory and her goal, knowing this allows readers to sympathize with her.

Photo taken by Susan Shalikar

The book cover is incredible! I love how Mother Gothel is young, and then under the book jacket, it is her old. All of the books in Serena’s Villain series have this feature. 

However, there were characters that I did not like. For example, the Odd Sisters are the villains in this Villain series. When they arrive, problems arise for the protagonist. I found the characters to be annoying within the story. The Odd Sisters are involved less in the other books, so I won’t let them stop me from reading the others.

Other than that, this book is a great read. I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes Tangled or wants to read a quick read. 

The rest of the books in this series are listed down below in order:  

Fairest of Them All 

The Beast Within 

Poor Unfortunate Soul 

Mistress of All Evil 

Mother Knows Best 

The Odd Sisters 

Evil Thing 

Cold Hearted 

Never, Never