A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK
"An intense psychological drama that will be embraced by serious book clubs and fans of Lionel Shriver's We Need to Talk about Kevin."
—Kristin Hannah, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"A poetic, propulsive read that set my nerves jangling."
—Lisa Jewell, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone
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.
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.
Mesmerized me from the sample!
I couldn’t put it down until it was over. Then I searched for more. I’m hooked!
Devoured this. So spot on.
There are withdrawals after reading this book. You immediately search for another something by the author… and then think maybe you can find something similar to no avail. You don’t have to be a mother to be altered by this book. Absolutely perfect and rivals any Gone Girl On The Train varietals.
You will not be able to put the book down. Prepare for tears & angst.