The Push by Ashley Audrain ★★★★★ #BookReview #BookBlog

Primary Genre(s): Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Family Drama
Published:  5 Jan 2021 by Pamela Dorman Books
Page count: 307 (print)
My Format: ebook via Overdrive/Libby
Cover: Creative
Pacing: A bit slow
Ending: Great  
Do I Recommend: Yes
Commission Link (U.S.): Buy The Push

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis
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.

My Thoughts
I was very intrigued by the synopsis. I feel drawn to family dramas with a psychological twist. Here are my pros and cons for The Push:

Pros

  1. This book was a brutal and honest look at post-partem life. From the emotional toll to the physical toll, the author went all-in describing how hard life can be for some women after giving birth.
  2. I love books like this that set up a mental illness situation (in this case post-partum depression) and then throw a huge wrench in the works to make you wonder if the protagonist is the only one who understands what is really going on and everyone else is blind to the truth! This book took that trope and elevated it to a new level!!
  3. The author really puts you into Blythe’s head. You will understand her pain, her isolation, her loneliness, her fear. You will be haunted by her despair. You will be angry about how her feelings are dismissed. I have never had children myself, but I felt like I was genuinely experiencing Blythe’s emotions along with her. So, I would imagine readers who are mothers will deeply connect with Blythe. Blythe is a complex and unreliable character, and she was written perfectly.
  4. Some of the events that take place in this book are devastating. It is an emotional rollercoaster.
  5. This book almost felt like a psychological study – one where Blythe herself must determine if she is simply suffering from post-partum depression and seeing things that aren’t there, or if she is right and something really is wrong with her daughter. Ultimately it doesn’t matter because both are horrible options. And therein lies the genius of this book.
  6. The ending blew my mind.

Cons

  1. There were some repetitive scenes in the story (rehashing of events, etc.) and it impacted the pace of the book for me. It wasn’t terrible, just noticeable.

Summary
I would imagine a lot of women have been accused at least once in their lives of overreacting or being hysterical… and that is sad. Even if something is proven untrue, I’ll never understand why the experience of one person can be so callously disregarded by another, particularly when it is done by a spouse or loved one. Blythe was never heard. Her feelings either weren’t acknowledged or she was told they were wrong. Her experiences were written off as false. As a woman, this was a hard book to read. As a lover of psychological thrillers, this was an absolute gem.

If you would like to read this book and form your own opinion, please consider purchasing through this link: Buy The Push. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. Thanks!

Click here for a description of my rating scale.

(image from Goodreads)

Where to find me:

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