The Push by Ashley Audrain

Today I’m sharing my review for The Push, the debut novel by Ashley Audrain, published yesterday by Michael Joseph Books. Thank you to the publisher for a digital proof copy via NetGalley, my thoughts are my own and not influenced by the gift.

Synopsis:

What if your experience of motherhood was nothing like what you hoped for – but everything you always feared?

‘The women in this family, we’re different . . .’

The arrival of baby Violet was meant to be the happiest day of my life. 

It was meant to be a fresh start. 

But as soon as I held her in my arms I knew something wasn’t right. I have always known that the women in my family aren’t meant to be mothers. 

My husband Fox says I’m imagining it. He tells me I’m nothing like my own mother, and that Violet is the sweetest child. 

But she’s different with me. Something feels very wrong. 

Is it her? Or is it me? 

Is she the monster? Or am I?

The Push is a heart-pounding exploration of motherhood, obsession and the terrible price of unconditional love.

My thoughts:

As readers of my blog will know, I tend to go for uplifting books or cosy murder mysteries, rather than ‘darker’ books, but after seeing great reviews, I decided to challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone and find out more.

This debut novel is well written and found that I didn’t want to put it down. Quickly I was drawn into the mystery of motherhood in this family. Three generations of mothers, each struggling with motherhood. This is a very clever debut novel which left this reader wondering who was the problem. Do we need to have a good example of a mother, to be a good mother ourselves? Can a child be that manipulative? Why was Fox so unhelpful?

I’m a mother of two teenagers and this book left me feeling very uncomfortable because it felt so plausible. Being a mother isn’t easy, despite the rise of the Instagram picture perfect family suggesting otherwise. The Push features a family with many issues and tragedies. It is definitely a book that will stay with me for a while and I look forward to hearing the views of other readers. I also look forward to reading more by Ashley Audrain in the future.

Author Bio:

ASHLEY AUDRAIN previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada. Prior to Penguin, she worked in public relations. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children. The Push is her first novel.