A nightmarish look at what happens when a mother's little bundle of joy becomes her greatest source of fear.
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Why I love it
Author, Goodnight Beautiful
Confession: it’s been a while since I’ve been able to read a book cover to cover. No matter how much I’ve longed to read, or how many worthy books have found their way to me, I’ve been too distracted by the state of the world to stick with anything for long. And then, behold, I received a copy of The Push by Ashley Audrain. I’ll just take a peek, I thought. Hours later, there I was, reading the last page by iPhone flashlight, unaware of anything other than the world I’d just inhabited.
The premise: A woman named Blythe, who is disinclined to motherhood, gets married and then pregnant. Her daughter Violet arrives and, overwhelmed and exhausted, Blythe decides there’s something very wrong with the child. Her husband disagrees, accuses Blythe of imagining things. But he’s out of the house most of the day and doesn’t see what she does—a young girl, devoid of empathy and incapable of affection.
Blythe’s complicated feelings for her daughter are made more complicated by the arrival of a second child, a son she adores. Blythe narrates as if she’s speaking directly to her husband and the technique provides for a wonderfully immersive and intimate read that culminates in one of the best last lines I’ve read in years, hands down.
Bottom line: This debut is a masterful mix of suspense and inventiveness, captivating from the first page—in other words, the exact thing we could all use right now.
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 fallout forces Blythe to face the truth.
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