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The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Ashley Audrain, on your first book!

by Ashley Audrain

Quick take

A nightmarish look at what happens when a mother's little bundle of joy becomes her greatest source of fear.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MamaDrama

    Mama drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Unsettling


Why I love it

Aimee Molloy
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.

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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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Get an early look from the first pages of The Push.

Member thoughts

All (13254)
All (13254)
Love (8156)
Like (4332)
Dislike (766)
13323 ratings
  • 61% Love
  • 33% Like
  • 6% Dislike
  • Birmingham, AL

    I wouldn’t call this a thriller, it’s a psychological, character study of a woman who believes her child is evil. This was heart wrenching & terrifying. A taboo subject done well. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️\5

  • Miramar, FL

    This book is an amazing, hot, twisted mess! I could not put this book down. It had me under its spell from the first page. I definitely want to reread this ASAP. ☆☆☆☆☆ for a magnificent debut novel!

  • Modesto , CA

    This book has so many twist and turns in it i couldn't put it down. This book did not disappoint me. I might be rereading this again & id recommend it also. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Going to be adding it to my fav books

  • Virginia Beach, VA

    I cannot recommend or say i loved this book enough! If you haven’t read it... NOW is the time. Do not miss this thriller about what happens if you DON’T love your child. 5 star read! ????????????????????

  • Chilhowie, VA

    Wow! This book was so good! I was sucked in from the very beginning and was so invested in the characters. The story was definitely so sad. And the ending left me wanting more! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Fort worth, TX

    This book may not be for you if you like a clear cut ending! But i also could not put it down! It makes you think and I highlighted this quote “A mother’s heart breaks a million ways in her lifetime”.

  • Bellaire, TX

    Brutal honesty about how becoming a mother isn’t always the “most natural thing in the world” and thats ok and how when you dont know the whole story a pattern may seem unavoidable. You never know...

  • Wyandotte , MI

    This was fantastic! I wouldn’t have said no to it being more suspenseful but truly wasn’t expecting how it delved into three generations of women and how ones upbringing affected the next. Loved this.

  • Mount Vernon , NY

    Do You Like Slow Burns Or Books That Hook You From The Start ? Listen, I’m team get to the point, this goes for all genres. Don’t drag the plot giving us a little bit of nothing every few pages. I I

  • Lewisville, TX

    Wow! The Push, by @ashleyaudrain is a completely unique, harrowing, captivating story. It’s one of those books you can’t put down, it is so riveting, yet you dread reading it and finding out what com

  • Land O Lakes, FL

    The hype is real. I’m a fan of the genre, but since “Gone Girl”, domestic suspense can feel formulaic. This was unique enough to hold my attention. I devoured it in a day, but heed content warnings.

  • Pasadena, MD

    The Push is a haunting and thought-provoking story about motherhood, generational trauma, and loss. This is psychological & women’s fiction at it’s best. Very well written- not for the faint of heart.

  • Greenwood Village, CO

    What an insane book! The plot was chilling, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So many questions, was Violet that way from birth or was it her mother’s reaction to her? And the way push was used..

  • Silver Spring, MD

    Honestly the multiple perspectives & story lines had me hooked on multiple levels. It’s basically a book where everyone is imperfect/not a “good guy” in their own unique way. Really kept me hooked!

  • Billings, MT

    WHOA. This book is very dark and disturbing. I won’t recommend it to many readers due to the content, but the writing is excellent & it’s an unputdownable domestic thriller. Such an impressive debut!

  • Shady Side, MD

    I really enjoyed this book and flew through it, but it didn’t live up to all the hype I heard about it. Entertaining but I feel there could have been a better climax and ending. A little disappointing

  • Southgate, MI

    I could not put this down! I felt like I was in a trance. Is her daughter a monster? Or is it all in her head? I was glad there were twists but it didn’t cause whiplash like some thrillers. Loved it!

  • Junction City , KS

    This was my favorite book I’ve read in a long time! It gives great insights to the dynamics between mother and daughter when both struggle with mental health needs and more. Definitely is one to read!

  • Troy, NY

    Absolutely loved this book. It’s written as if the main character is talking to her husband, in a sad post break state. And the author’s not afraid to have a mother who has trouble loving her child.

  • Brooklyn, NY

    I can’t believe this is a debut novel! The author is amazing. There are some lines I had to read again since she describes motherhood and the disturbing party’s of motherhood so well. The push! Love

  • Too Good to Be True
  • The Push
  • The Collective
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • The Damage
  • 56 Days
  • We Were Never Here
  • Everything We Didn't Say
  • The Last Flight
  • The Night She Disappeared
  • Not a Happy Family
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • The Maidens
  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Razorblade Tears
  • Reckless Girls
  • Winter Counts
  • Silverview
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People