Wow- what a fast paced, gripping story! I have been reading so many great reviews about The Push by Ashley Audrain and this story totally lives up to the hype! I love a good psychological thriller, and this story absolutely didn’t disappoint. I was hooked from the beginning and genuinely didn’t know where this story was headed until the very end where there was a surprising cliffhanger ending.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: 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.
Ashley Audrain is a fantastic storyteller and I feel like she did a great job at getting the reader well acquainted with key characters in this book. The Push is written in Blythe’s perspective, switching between the past and present, but also focuses on the relationships between the women in Blythe’s family: her mother Cecelia, and her grandmother Etta. As readers, we get to see how each of these women experienced motherhood and how these experiences seemingly passed down to younger generations. I also applaud Audrain on her ability to create such an appropriate, slow burning build up to this book that would illicit chills and leave you needing to know what was happening next. The key events that occurred in this book did not feel over the top, which really played into the thrill factor and made this story feel even more realistic in an unsettling way. That being said, one thing that I would have really been intrigued to experience in this story would be the perspective of Blythe’s daughter Violet. I think it would’ve been really interesting to get her perspective on some key events that happened in this book. (Maybe a potential sequel or spin off idea?!).
This book was disturbing to read at some parts and will leave you with a lot to process- it does not come without some trigger warnings (death, miscarriage, abortion, psychological trauma, self harm, child neglect, postpartum depression, abuse, infidelity, and more). However, if you’re looking for a chilling, fast-paced psychological thriller, I honestly can’t recommend them enough. And if you’ve read this book already, please reach out to me! I would love to discuss it with you- especially your thoughts on the ending.
BEER RECOMMENDATION: The Push by Ashley Audrain is best paired with Bomb! by Prairie Artisan Ales. This delicious imperial stout is aged on Nordaggio’s espresso beans, chocolate, vanilla beans, and ancho chile peppers 🍻