Book Review – The Push by Ashley Audrain #Thriller #Psychological #Dark #Gripping
“These are thoughts I never let leave my lips. These are thoughts most mothers don’t have.”
320 pages. Published January 5th 2021
A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family–and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.
Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet that she herself never had.
But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave like most children do.
Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.
Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.
The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.
And here we have it, my first 5* read of 2021.
Intense. Chilling. Unsettling. Addictive.
The Push explores the very darkest side of motherhood.
If everything inside of you told you that you would be a bad mother, how would you feel after having a child?
Told from the perspective of Blythe we are talked through memories of her own abusive childhood as well as her struggles with her daughter Violet as she adapts to becoming a new mother herself.
The more Blythe tries to break the cycle of bad mothers in her family and be the best mother she can be, the more convinced she becomes that something is wrong.
Wrong with her? Wrong with her daughter?
Blythe struggles to bond with Violet and from the moment she is born suspects that she is not like other children. Her husband Fox is convinced that she is imagining things and Blythe starts to question herself more and more.
Did she really see that? Could she be losing her mind?
The book raises a lot of questions of nature/nurture.
IS Violet the way she is because of Blythe? Did Blythe’s fear of being a bad mother actually result in her becoming one? Was she a bad mother?
The whole story was incredibly dark and addictive and left me constantly wanting more.
I don’t want to spoil the story for potential readers and I feel like reviewing this it would be very easy to give things away so I’m going to keep this one short and sweet even though I feel like so much more could be said.
This is going to be one of those books that people are talking about for a long time. It says with you long after you’ve turned the final page.
“One day you’ll understand, Blythe. The women in this family…we’re different.”