The Push by Ashley Audrain
Rating - 8/10
I would love to give a huge thanks to Viking Books an imprint of Penguin Random House for sending me an advance review print copy of this beautiful book. When I received this in the mail, I knew that I wanted to read it pretty soon! I love the cover of the book, it’s quite alluring. I also liked the sound of the story, a bit of a different type of psychological thriller to do with motherhood. This book came out very recently Jan 5th, 2021 so it’s definitely a hot off the press read and I’ve heard great things about it.
The setting is ‘somewhere’ in New York City (couldn't figure out where exactly).
Blythe Connor is a new mother, she is determined to be the warm, caring mother she never had, to her new baby Violet. When Violet becomes a little older, and while Blythe is in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with Violet. She’s not at all like other young children.
Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Meanwhile, her husband Fox, thinks that she’s imagining things. But the more that Fox dismissed her concerns, the more Blythe begins to question her sanity and therefore, the more we begin to question Blythe’s life.
Blythe becomes pregnant again and has a baby boy, Sam. She has a blissful and strong connection with Sam, a connection that she didn’t quite have with Violet. Violet also seems to have taken a liking to little Sam. Soon after, life as they know it changes in an instant, and the devastating fall out forces Blythe to face the truth.
The Push will challenge everything you think that motherhood is all about, and what we think we owe our children, and also what it feels like for women to not be believed.
What a gripping read! This is literally one of those books that is seriously impossible to put down. It was such an eerie and atmospheric read.
The story is based in two different time periods and is mostly told from Blythe’s POV. It really feels like we’re in her mind and are getting her innermost raw and revealing thoughts throughout this whole book. It was an intimate feeling to be so close to a character as we are with Blythe. I loved the different time periods that this book was set in. We would hear from mostly Blythe, then the other time span tells the story of her childhood and the relationship she had with her father and mother, and Blythe’s upbringing. I felt that this aspect added a necessary personal tone to the story. It makes you realize why Blythe is the way she is. You get to know what her fears, her hopes, her inner most deepest thoughts are, and also you understand her daughter Violet more. You really do feel for Blythe in this book, her life is complex and unconventional.
The writing of this book was extremely readable but also written quite well in terms of the language and the way the story was told - I enjoyed the sophisticated writing style of this book. It didn’t have that simplistic, trashy or blunt writing style that you get in a lot of psychological thrillers reads. It was more stylish and well thought of. Ashley Audrain is definitely an excellent writer. The chapters were all short and to the point which I loved. No messing around.
The setting for the book was based somewhere in New York from what I could tell, like a brownstone maybe upmarket Brooklyn neighborhood. It was a good setting.
The actual plot itself definitely kepts you gripped from the very first page, I liked the pacing of the book. You seriously could not put this book down! I would tell myself, okay, just one more chapter...haha like 10 chapters in. It’s hella addictive.
One thing that I really admired about the book is how much Audrain writes about motherhood, and the other side of motherhood that you never really hear about. The complexities of how you’re supposed to feel, and dealing with detachment from your own child. I found the core subject to be very engrossing and intriguing. I also personally learned a LOT about having a baby, and all the insane changes that women go through during a pregnancy, during birth and after you give birth as well. I feel like these subject matters are rarely discussed and I seriously learned a lot about childbirth. When people talk about motherhood, they always speak about all of the joys, and the gift of having a child, and no one ever speaks of how freaking hard it is and how much it truly takes a toll on a woman and her body. The expectations, the hard monotonous days, and even postpartum depression. I loved that Audrain covered all of these issues in the book. Which made for a very different suspense read than your average thriller.
This book was also so freaking creepy!! Like spine chilling creepy. It was really lush and atmospheric too, and definitely had a certain mood and subtle harrowing tone. I loved it! The build was steady, and very well paced. I wouldn’t say that it’s the most ‘thrilling’ book that I’ve ever read, but it definitely had it’s spine tingling moments.
If you like a good spine tingling, entertaining, atmospheric and drama story in your thriller, then read this book. You learn a lot about motherhood, the raw truth about giving birth, the complexities of parenting, and postpartum depression. It was a memorable read that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. It would also make a fantastic pick for book clubs, especially for all the yummy mummies out there. The character's names in this book were a tad ridiculous haha but I guess it fits in with the setting and tone of the book. A compelling and fearless read.
For my song pick, I wanted a song that felt atmospheric, mellow, heavy & moody. I also wanted a song that dealt with loss and a song that Blythe could relate to. My song pick was 'Stranger' by Noah & the Whale.
Genre: Psychological Thriller | Suspense
Publish Date: January 5, 2021
Pages: 320 Pages
Publisher: Viking Books | Penguin Random House