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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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