My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ashley Audrain’s The Push is a book that is gonna evoke visceral reactions in anyone who reads it and none of them are good. So I should probably begin this review by advising ‘moms-to-be’ and new mothers to read this with caution coz the author has provided a ‘no holds barred’ look into the darkest thoughts of motherhood. There were mixed reviews about the book and too much hype surrounding it but I wasn’t expecting this extreme intense reaction and that does show how brilliantly the author has shredded the glorified motherhood picture into pieces.
It is just not Blythe and her experience but the utter hopelessness of the unfolding story thru flashbacks of her mother Cecilia and her grandmother Etta that we understand the age old debate about “nature vs nurture”. Blythe’s relationship with her daughter Violet and then her son Sam makes you crave a drop of happiness so much that I stretched reading this book with numerous breaks in between. The exploration of grief is also one of the bleakest I have read in recent times and I can understand why this story was ‘make or break’ for many. There are potential triggers of abuse, mental health, loss, and grief that are devastatingly potent and it is here that I think Ashley Audrain is an author to watch out for in the future if her writing is anything to go by.
The Push is not an easy read and one which makes you think that being flayed alive was a better option.
Tortured 5 stars!
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.
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