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All booksThrillerThe Perfect Mother
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

The Perfect Mother

by Aimee Molloy

Quick take

Moms go drinking. Baby gets snatched. A frantic search—amid a media frenzy.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FemaleFriendship

    Female friendships

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Movieish


Why I love it

Jaime King
Guest Judge

I’ll just come out and say it: Society tells us moms that we need to be “perfect.” After being mom-shamed on Instagram (yes, this has happened), I know the pressure on mothers to be infallible is real. First The Perfect Mother taps into these harrowing realities of modern motherhood. Then it dials things up a notch with a rollercoaster twist that will leave you reeling, whether you’ve given birth or never will.

The May Mothers are a group of women who meet every few days, mostly in the park, to discuss the pangs and pleasures of parenting. In an attempt to blow off steam one night, they hire sitters, dab on lipstick, and hit a bar. But what should be a fun ladies’ night morphs into a nightmare when one of their newborns goes missing. The police get involved, the group is torn apart, and the media, ever ready for a chance to cry “shame!” à la Game of Thrones, descends on these “imperfect” mothers.

To have children, we are told, is to achieve our ultimate glory. It’s also our chance to be totally judged. Through the eyes of these moms, we experience the struggles—the loneliness, fears, and worries—of parenting. But this isn’t just a social commentary. It’s a hair-raising, terrifying, urgent thriller told with abundant complexity (and creepiness). I dare say once you start reading this, you will never be able to put it down.

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A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.

They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they are looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: One of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing.

What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed. An addictive psychological thriller, The Perfect Mother is soon to be a major motion picture starring Scandal’s Kerry Washington.

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Member thoughts

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All (7397)
Love (2703)
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7556 ratings
  • 36% Love
  • 55% Like
  • 7% Dislike
  • Nashville, TN

    One of the best thrillers I’ve read this year, and I’ve read a lot. For once, I didn’t see the twist that was coming. I had to even stop and think back to the earlier pages from the shock. Highly rec!

  • Omaha, NE

    This book really surprised me! I didn’t see the twist coming and I was actually shocked. Some chapters were slow and there were characters I didn’t like much, but overall this was a great, quick read!

  • Cedar Rapids, IA

    I wasn’t sure when I began book if it wasn’t just like so many others out right now. Soon I was hooked and read late into the night. I read often and Love when I get a good book that keeps me hooked!

  • Odessa, TX

    I’m not so much of a thriller gal but the pace of this book was perfect for me. I also thought that the characters were well developed and the flashbacks and changes of point of view were well constru

  • Mingo Junction , OH

    The book was very good! It was like putting puzzle together! I could relate to it being a new mother! I could relate to all the characters in the book! The ending was amazing and couldn’t stop reading

  • Midland , TX

    Wow! I did NOT see that ending coming! My jaw is still on the floor. I’m glad I read this after becoming a mom (to a May baby at that!); I don’t think I would have appreciated it as much otherwise.

  • Aberdeen , SD

    I was a little bored the first few chapters, but once I read further, I was hooked! I kept guessing what was happening and tried to solve the mystery. I was wrong... I had no clue until the very end.

  • Jacksonville, FL

    I love books that make you think and this did that! Never really knew what was going to happen next. I really enjoyed it. You can feel the fear from the characters. Would recommend this book to anyone

  • Colchester, VT

    This book definitely kept my attention throughout. It wasn’t about your typical twists and turns, it was about getting to know the characters and the awful act that took place. The ending was crazy.

  • Moraga, CA

    As a mother of three, every page I turned made me think, what if it is too hard for someone to deal with a newborn and all the change?? Then every page revealed some new secret. I read it in one day.

  • Glendale , AZ

    The twist at the end was amazing! Very well written! For Aimee Malloy's first novel, it is a must read! All of the characters were very well written and described. This book will keep you on your toes

  • San Diego, CA

    This book kept me up all night turning the pages to see what was next. The end was a surprise to me and I really love the way the author keeps you wanting to read more. Definitely recommend this book.

  • White Hall , AR

    I loved it! I was completely enthralled from the start. It ended totally differently than I thought it would, but it was really an excellent read. I read it in less than a day, if that says anything!

  • Pratt, KS

    Great book-I can usually guess the ending but figured this out right along with the characters. I myself was part of a 'mothers group' that met online when my first child was born so I related to this

  • Hedgesville, WV

    As a mother this is my biggest fear! I would've never foreseen the ending! Great, awesome read. The author did an awesome job! Kept the reader wanting more. I can't wait to read more from this author

  • Otsego, MN

    I enjoyed reading this book. I did have some inclinations early on about how it might end and I was correct, but it got to the point that I wasn't sure who to trust or what might really be happening.

  • Niles, MI

    The structure of the story was well thought out. It plays into how you think when you try to predict who "done it." And trust me, you'll be wrong. Fast paced & beautifully written! Thoroughly enjoyed!

  • Olathe, KS

    I usually avoid books/movies that involve kids being hurt or taken, but this one was tolerable in that aspect. I couldn't figure out the ending until I was reading it happen! Very good, quick read!

  • Powell , WY

    Honestly, I couldn't understand all the hype - until the last 50 pages or so & then my mind was blown! Now I want to reread it to see what clues I missed & got everything so wrong. Excited for movie!

  • Gilbert, AZ

    Such a good book that was not only a good mystery, but also a dive into the struggles of being a mother in this world today. And just when I thought I had it all figured out...never saw THAT ending!

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