About the Book:
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.
“A mother’s heart breaks a million ways in her lifetime.”
Ashley Audrain has written an absolute powerhouse of a book! It has taken me several days to gather my thoughts together. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Marin Ireland who did an outstanding job bring the voice of Blythe to life.
Blythe is a new mother to baby Violet and has a seemingly perfect life with her husband Fox. But Blythe had a very dysfunctional upbringing: her mother possibly suffered from depression or maybe just didn’t love Blythe and eventually left the family, and Blythe’s grandmother had committed suicide. The book weaves a rich backstory and slowly and effectively tells the story of Blythe and Fox’s courtship and marriage. Fox was raised by a stay-at-home mother and he expects Blythe to do the same.
“I would cry when you left the room. I didn’t want to be the axis around which you both spun.
But Blythe is completely and utterly overwhelmed by baby Violet. She screams when Blythe touches her and the most common actions become battles. Violet is an angel with her father, who is in deep, deep denial about his family. Blythe also gets very little support from her mother-in-law, who seems well-meaning but only sees that Violet is sometimes stubborn and headstrong.
‘The Push’ explores many taboo topics that are not often discussed. What if the mothering instinct does not come naturally? What if a parent cannot bond with an angry, difficult child? Is Blythe unable to bond with Violet because of the lack of mothering in her own childhood?
“I had nothing left to give either of you but our lives together had just begun.”
The book takes a sinister turn as Violet enters preschool. While she is loving and affectionate to her father, Blythe sees a different side to Violet at school, and so do the teachers. Violet becomes deliberately cruel towards Blythe, who desperately longs for the mother-child bond that other families seem to have.
“She had a brilliant beautiful mind and I longed to be inside it. Even though I feared what I might find.”
Their marriage begins to suffer and Fox begins to drift away from Blythe. They had had such a passionate relationship, that this part of the book broke my heart. A horrible and unspeakable tragedy then drives Blythe and Fox apart and he becomes someone that Blythe no longer knows.
“You wanted a perfect mother for your perfect daughter and there wasn’t room for anything else.”
I was on the edge of my seat a million times during this book! I wanted everyone else to see what Blythe saw. The pacing, the plot, the characters, the narrator – all perfection. ‘The Push’ is without question one of my favorite books of the year and I hope that it is made into a movie! Don’t miss this one.