"the maternal instinct is as mysterious as the sexual instinct, and as powerful. it's not rational. it's primal. it's one of the great joys of being a parent, too -the first time you understand that if a car were hurtling toward you and your child, you would absolutely throw yourself in front of it to save your child. there's a deep joy in realizing you're capable of that selflessness. there are things that you couldn't do as yourself -but as a mother, you can do anything. Anything."
– Ruth Reichl reflecting on maternal figures in her favorite books, Cookie Magazine May '09.