Sometimes motherhood is not like you expect it to be, your head full of expectations and dreams. The Push by Ashley Audrain explores generational dysfunction and the fears of new mother Blythe Connor.

Blythe comes from a family of women suffering from both mental health issues and trauma. She never knew the warmth of a mother’s love, only from her neighbour, Mrs Ellington. The story centres around Blythe, her childhood, meeting Fox and marrying him, and falling pregnant with their first child Violet. 

Throughout the book, we have flashbacks to Blythe’s grandmother Etta and Blythe’s mother, Cecilia, and their dark childhoods. While reading these flashbacks we can understand why Blythe is fearful of being a mother. The women in her family are different, not maternal. Not mother material.

When Violet is born Blythe waits for that connection, that maternal instinct to kick in but instead, she feels unease. Her husband is smitten, and in his eyes his daughter is perfect. With the pressure of a new baby, their marriage changes over the first year and Blythe feels hollow and exhausted. Violet is always unsettled with her and she feels that something is not right with her daughter. 

Incidents happen over the years as Violet grows and Blythe starts to question if it is all in her head. Or, is her child capable of these deeds? Her concerns fall on her husband’s deaf ears.

When her second child Sam is born, the bond and the connection she dreamt of is there and she finally finds contentment as a mother.  While her love blossoms with Baby Sam she still struggles with Violet. Can she trust her around Sam?

This is a dark novel in places and very confronting, so some readers may find it triggering.  I found the storyline flowed well and it was easy to read it in a day, but it did have you feeling so many emotions throughout. 

I have tried to not give too much away but I recommend this page-turner. They are already saying it will be a book to watch in 2021 and I am sure most that read it will agree.

Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Penguin Random House for the opportunity to read and review this book.

ISBN: 9780241434567 / Publisher Penguin

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