The Mothers

Monique (Mo) Character Analysis

Aubrey’s sister. Mo lives with Kasey, her girlfriend. When Nadia discovers this, she’s surprised, given that being gay in the Upper Room community is a “big deal.” Of course, Mo herself isn’t part of the Upper Room community, but Aubrey is so religious that Nadia would never have guessed that she lives with lesbians. Mo hates her mother and is upset when Aubrey wants to invite her to the wedding, but the dispute eventually becomes unimportant when their mother declines the invitation. In general, Mo acts as if she is Aubrey’s mother, since she and Kasey took Aubrey into their home when Aubrey finally decided to flee from Paul, her mother’s sexually abusive boyfriend.

Monique (Mo) Quotes in The Mothers

The The Mothers quotes below are all either spoken by Monique (Mo) or refer to Monique (Mo). For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Riverhead edition of The Mothers published in 2016.
Chapter Four Quotes

How could a woman like that kill herself? Aubrey knew it was a stupid question—anyone could kill herself, if she wanted to badly enough. Mo said that it was physiological. Misfired synapses, unbalanced chemicals in the brain, the whole body a machine with a few tripped wires that had caused it to self-destruct. But people weren’t just their bodies, right? The decision to kill yourself had to be more complicated than that.

Related Characters: Aubrey Evans, Elise Turner, Monique (Mo)
Page Number: 83
Explanation and Analysis:
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Monique (Mo) Character Timeline in The Mothers

The timeline below shows where the character Monique (Mo) appears in The Mothers. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter Four
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
The Mothers recount the last time they saw Elise Turner (they were apparently the last ones to... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Caretaking and Responsibility Theme Icon
Religion and Judgment Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...but soon they get to talking, and Aubrey tells her that she lives with her sister and her sister’s girlfriend. “At Upper Room,” Bennett writes, “a gay sister was a big... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Internalization vs. Externalization Theme Icon
Nadia starts spending all of her time at Aubrey’s house, where Aubrey lives with her sister, Monique, and Monique’s girlfriend, Kasey. When Aubrey first moved in, she tells Nadia, she had... (full context)
Chapter Five
Internalization vs. Externalization Theme Icon
...wonder if Nadia is wearing out her welcome, though she assures him that Kasey and Monique don’t mind having her. Plus, she enjoys Aubrey’s strange little family. As they grill in... (full context)
Religion and Judgment Theme Icon
...hadn’t given her money for the actual procedure. Lying in the darkness later on, after Mo has told them about the girl in the E.R. who almost died from taking such... (full context)
Caretaking and Responsibility Theme Icon
...times, which Nadia simply laughs off. “Jesus, Aubrey,” she says as she leads her into Monique and Kasey’s house later that night, putting her to bed, getting in next to her,... (full context)
Chapter Eight
Internalization vs. Externalization Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...is preoccupied with something else: whether or not to invite her mother. When Aubrey tells Monique that she’s considering this, her sister says, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Later, though, Nadia... (full context)
Internalization vs. Externalization Theme Icon
...reaches under the bed and extracts a small prayer book, which he stole from inside Mother Betty’s piano bench when he was in sixth grade. “That’s my mother’s,” Nadia says, dumbstruck.... (full context)
Chapter Fourteen
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Caretaking and Responsibility Theme Icon
On her way to the airport, Nadia stops at Monique and Kasey’s house and talks to Aubrey, who is now far along in her pregnancy.... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Religion and Judgment Theme Icon
The Mothers recount how the news of Nadia’s abortion spreads through the church. First, Mother Betty overhears... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Identity Theme Icon
...the pastor’s financing of an abortion. Years later, long after Nadia has left California, the Mothers still talk about her, wondering what kind of life she leads. One of them insists... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Since Nadia’s last departure from California, the Mothers have seen her one final time. These days, the Mothers gather on a porch on... (full context)
Secrecy, Gossip, and Storytelling Theme Icon
One of the Mothers claims she sees a pink Barbie bag sitting in the front seat of Robert’s truck... (full context)