INSTANT INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
SHORTLISTED for the 2022 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize
FINALIST for 2022 Crime Writers of Canada Best First Crime Novel
“Utterly addictive.” —Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl on the Train
“Written with an unflinching eye and a stylistically sharp, tight economy The Push is a single-sitting read, as suspenseful as any thriller, as thoughtful as any literary novel, with an almost physical force behind each of its turns and revelations.” —Toronto Star
A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, told through the eyes of 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, supportive mother she never had to her new baby Violet.
But in the thick of motherhood's exhausting early days, Blythe doesn't find the connection with her daughter she expected. She's convinced that something is wrong with Violet--the little girl is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool.
Or is it all in Blythe's head? Her husband, Fox, says she is imagining things. Fox doesn't see what Blythe sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being a mother. And the more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity...
Then their son Sam is born--and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she'd always dreamed of. 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 about herself, her past, and her daughter.
The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: a novel about the expectations of motherhood we're taught not to challenge and what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. It's impossible to put down and impossible to forget.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Early in Ashley Audrain’s tense, bone-chilling debut novel, new mother Blythe silently wonders why her infant daughter Violet “didn’t feel like the best thing that ever happened to me.” Faced with disapproval from her once-supportive husband, Blythe desperately tries to connect with Violet while worrying that a family history of maternal abuse has doomed their relationship. As Blythe grapples with the question of nature versus nurture, Violet’s apparent hostility intensifies, raising sinister possibilities. Audrain’s compassion for a lonely mother who fears that she has failed at her most primal task keeps this deftly paced thriller grounded in reality, even as suspense mounts. The Push doesn’t relax its grip until the very last sentence.
Growing up as the latest link in a long chain of toxic mother-daughter dyads, aspiring writer Blythe, the narrator of Audrain's emotionally devastating debut, has no desire for parenthood herself, until she falls for gentle, supportive Fox Connor, who can't imagine not having kids and convinces her otherwise. Daughter Violet's birth three years later starts the clock ticking toward the implosion of the couple's marriage. In the eyes of Fox, who is away most of the day at work, Violet's an angel; to exhausted and overwhelmed Blythe, there's something fundamentally wrong with the baby. Or is there? As Blythe worries over the years that Violet lacks normal feelings of empathy and affection, concerns that Fox keeps dismissing as only in her head, things continue to deteriorate until, desperate not to lose Fox, Blythe becomes pregnant again. Son Sam's arrival blindsides her: to her astonishment, she loves Sam ecstatically. A tragedy precipitated by seven-year-old Violet is by no means the end of the twisty, harrowing ride to the dark side of motherhood Audrain pilots so skillfully. This is a sterling addition to the burgeoning canon of bad seed suspense, from an arrestingly original new voice.
I really loved the story but wanted more! Especially at the end
Such a good book, beautifully written too. Finished it super fast too I couldn’t stop reading it.
I had very high expectations for this book and the way it was going I thought the author would have is guess whether the mother is crazy or if the daughter is violent. It didn’t do that and it was very predictable.