Book Review: The Push by Ashley Audrain

The Push  by Ashley Audrain Genre:  Psychological suspense Synopsis:   Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforti...

The Push by Ashley Audrain

Genre: Psychological suspense

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.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Child abuse, mental health issues, death/loss of loved one, guilt, paranoia, mentions of abortion, racism, self harm/suicide, trauma

Overall rating:  ★★★★★

I am not a mother, so I don’t have those maternal instincts and experiences to connect with The Push on a personal level, but it’s such an incredible book that kept me on the edge of my seat until the very last page.

I’d say The Push is similar to Baby Teeth, but done a million times better. There were scenes that very specifically reminded me of We Need To Talk About Kevin (of which I’ve only seen the movie and not read the book). Compared to Baby Teeth, The Push is entirely more believable, and while it’s definitely a slow burn, it’s not at all a slow book. The tension is so incredibly apparent throughout its pages. The heartbreak, frustration, anger, fear, love - it’s all there in a way where you can absolutely feel it. But it’s not in-your-face emotions. These feelings are being pushed down and tampered because that’s often how women share/hide their emotions. It’s a look into women being listened to and believed (or not).

"I am capable of moving beyond my mistakes. I am able to heal from the hurt and pain I have caused."

It’s also a case study into cross-generational motherhood. This isn’t just Blythe’s story of motherhood, but also her mother’s and grandmother’s story. Is it nature or nurture?

This entire story is sinister and unsettling. It’s not quite a thriller or horror in the traditional sense, but it is both thrilling and horrifying.

The Push is an absolutely incredible debut novel, and one I will stick with me for a long time.

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