The Push by Ashley Audrain – Review

The Push by Ashley Audrain
Series: N/A
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Published January 5th 2021
Genres: Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 307
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository | Amazon

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. 

This book is all about motherhood. About being a good mother even when you weren’t blessed with a good role model, like our mc Blythe. Both her mother and grandmother were complete fails as mothers, will Blythe be the same? She does her best to connect with her daughter Violet, but she is sure something is wrong with her. Nobody believes it, not even her husband. Instead they think there’s something wrong with Blythe… Is it her past? Or is there something really wrong?

Blythe does her best to try to care for Violet, but she is far from succeeding. Some say, that if you don’t have a good role-model you are bound not to succeed, is it true? Does your past influence your future that much? Blythe had a hell of a childhood, for sure traumatic. And so did her own mother. I really felt for our mc and all the glimpses we have of her childhood are hard to read about. It’s not easy and it haunts you forever, but I can’t help but hope with all my heart it does not dictate your ability to be a good mother. Although it might give you some doubts and worries, that you won’t succeed, you can build your own path and learn as you go.

Motherhood is said to be rewarding, beautiful and unique, but for Blythe it’s nothing like that. I’m not a parent but all the fears Blythe has? I can totally understand and it really makes me think of my own fears. I think a mother will have a bigger connection with the mc, but to be honest I think it’s easy for anyone to relate to her at some point.

Blythe has good intentions but it just doesn’t go as she hopes. Violet is a daddy’s girl and nothing can change their lack of a relationship. When she gets pregnant again, this time with a boy, all the things they say of motherhood finally kick in. Her connection with her son is all she hoped for and more. Nothing like with Violet. And having her son now, builds up even more the strong feeling she has deep inside. She is worried and no one believes her, that something is just not right with Violet.

This is an incredible commentary on the expectations of motherhood and the role we play to the little ones. It’s a hard read but it’s also beautiful, raw and honest.

It’s tense and full of thought-provoking moments, broken characters, mental health issues like depression, hard-hitting moments, and the difficulty with expectations not panning out. It also shows how easily Blythe is dismissed by her loved ones, especially by her husband – how easy it is for him and how fast he dismisses her worries since he isn’t able to see it himself… It’s sad to see how realistic this book is and how dark and sad it gets. It deals with suicide, death of a loved one, death of child and more, so read with caution.

What did you think of it? Have you read it? Let’s discuss it in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “The Push by Ashley Audrain – Review

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