The Audiobook You Never Knew Molly Ringwald Narrated

If you're a fan of 1980s teen movies, you're probably familiar with Molly Ringwald. The queen of the genre, Ringwald starred in John Hughes classics like "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," and "Pretty in Pink," all in quick succession (via IMDb). The actress is also known for her impeccable style — some of those "Pretty in Pink" fashion moments are truly unforgettable — and charismatic presence, holding her own amidst star-packed ensembles. These classic teen movies of the 1980s went on to inspire future generations of filmmakers. Today, as noted by Screenrant, we can see Hughes' influence in popular films from "Booksmart" to "Spider-Man: Homecoming."

However, in the decades since these stories premiered, some aspects of the genre have undergone a much-needed evolution. As noted by Ringwald herself in a 2018 essay for The New Yorker, "I have felt the need to examine the role that these movies have played in our cultural life." The actress goes on to add, in specific reference to Hughes, "Back then, I was only vaguely aware of how inappropriate much of John's writing was, given my limited experience and what was considered normal at the time."

Ringwald, now in her mid-50s, has found success that expands far beyond her status as teen queen. She's made a name for herself as a singer, best-selling author, and even an audiobook narrator.

Molly Ringwald brought suburbia to life in The Middlesteins

Jami Attenberg's 2004 novel, "The Middlesteins," is a bestseller beloved by critics. Set in a uniquely-American suburban sprawl, it explores the power of food in all its nourishing — and socially-charged — glory. Edie, the book's main protagonist, seeks comfort in eating, ultimately finding she is unable to stop (via The New York Times). The story explores addiction, prejudice, and consequence. However, according to NPR, it's ultimately "about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments." As Attenberg explained in an interview with Literary Hub, "Books don't work without real, true characters," and that's just what Edie is, a layered female protagonist whose flaws make her all the more compelling.

Despite their obvious faults, John Hughes' movies of the 1980s also attempted to highlight complex female leads. According to Molly Ringwald herself, "No one in Hollywood was writing about the minutiae of high school, and certainly not from a female point of view" (via The New Yorker). Hughes changed the game in this respect, placing a female protagonist (both played by Ringwald) at the helm of two of his high school classics: "Sixteen Candles" and "Pretty in Pink."

Attenberg's "The Middlesteins" was recorded in 2012 by Hatchett audio and is available to borrow on Audible. Its narrator? Ringwald herself. She lends her voice to the story, bringing Edie and the Middlestein family to life.

Molly Ringwald went from playing a teen idol to mom

Once a highly-coveted teen actress in the 1980s, Molly Ringwald now plays a parental role to today's popular teen icons. In 2008, Ringwald began starring as Anne Juergens, mother to Shailene Woodley's character in ABC Family's "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (via IMDb). She also lended her vocal talents to the show's official theme song. More recently, she's had a recurring role on the CW's "Riverdale," playing Archie's mother, Mary Andrews. As reported by Refinery29, "These days, Ringwald often faces typecasting of a different sort in TV and film: as a mom." Once unable to escape her popular teenage image, the actress now can't avoid parenting current teen stars on-screen.

She's also a real-life mother to three, recently encountering the question of whether to show her youngest kids the John Hughes movies she's most well-known for (via Newsweek). In regards to parenting, Ringwald has said, "One would think that I would have some special insight into being a teenager after having been one of the most famous teenagers ever." However, her time in the spotlight didn't prepare her for the challenges of real-life high schoolers.

When she's not narrating audiobooks, TV parenting, or actual parenting, actress Ringwald is writing. In the coming years, we might catch a glimpse of her in the in-the-works "Sixteen Candles" reboot, but only time will tell.