The Push by Ashley Audrain
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.
January 5th, 2021
Domestic Suspense/Family Drama
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I picked this up after I heard @sarahsbookshelves talk about it on her Winter Book Preview podcast episode with Catherine from @gilmoreguide. We are both fans of darker dysfunctional characters and premises and so when I heard her recommendation I knew it was for me!
I started The Push by @ashleyaudrain and then had a hard time putting it down. And when I wasn’t reading it, I was still thinking about what was going to happen next. Isn’t that the best kind of reading?!
It isn’t a thriller, and it isn’t just a complex family drama. There’s a psychological element and there are family dysfunction and trauma. It reads like a fast-paced piece of literary fiction…similar to how I felt about Long Bright River…which I loved.
It’s layered and nuanced, compelling, and also quite upsetting. I have heard it compared to We Need To Talk About Kevin, which I haven’t read, so I don’t have that comparison but it really is like nothing I have ever read.
The parts about the societal expectations of mothers were fascinating and just so spot on. Some of it was a bit uncomfortable and goes to some pretty dark places but that is also what made it just so riveting.
The look at nature vs. nurture and how our own childhoods shape us into the parents we become is just fascinating. I also love really getting to know the characters and the cross-generational flashbacks of motherhood added so much to this storyline.
I already know The Push will be one of my favorite books of 2021 and I highly recommend it! I am also talking about this book over on my #bookstagram page @genthebookworm and I would love to hear your thoughts!
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