The Push by Ashley Audrain

Blythe Connor wants nothing more than to be the perfect wife to her husband Fox and live up to his belief that she’s going to make a wonderful mother. Coming from a generation of malfunctioning-mothering, she is as determined as she is fearful of being the best mother to their new baby daughter, Violet.

But as hard as Blythe tries, the baby bond is missing – Violet seems to cringe at her mother’s touch and wants only her father’s. As this aversion grows, Blythe wonders if there is something wrong with her little girl, or is she manifesting her every fear? Then, Sam is born, and she feels the fulfillment of maternal, pure, reciprocated love.

When the unspeakable happens, Blythe’s life becomes a nightmarish existence. Has her despair warped her soundness? Do her suspicions have any rationalization? Is it normal for a mother to have these thoughts?

The Push is not packaged in pretty words and wrapped up with the ribbon of happy endings. Audrain skilfully delivers some gravely serious issues to the reader unboxed; baring unspoken terrors that should stay buried deep in a parent’s psyche because they cannot even be thought of, for fear they become real.

A daring-to-go-to-dark places, staggering story, that I read with my body tensed and heart pounding. I could not put it down until the last spine-tingling sentence.

The Push is one of 2021’s must-reads.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, for the read of Ashley Audrain’s, The Push.

Opinions expressed are my own.