The Push

They scream. They bite. They push. They cry. They throw things. No, I’m not talking about your spouse or your significant other. I’m talking about the bad side of your kids.

Have you ever sat there pulling your hair out and thought, “I really am at my wits end with this kid!” Your patience tested to the limit…

What if that feeling was justified? You saw your kid doing terrible, awful things. Evil things. Yet no one believed you. They saw a sweet, loving kid. You saw the monster. What would you do? What could you do? Would you still love them? Could you still love them?

The Push is visceral, provocative, compulsive read that hooks you from the first page and refuses to let you go, throwing you neck deep into a tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and eventual breaking of a family, and a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for; instead, it turns out to be everything she feared.

It is a look at the dark side of motherhood, and all the things that can go wrong. It addresses motherhood taboos and paints a vivid picture of how mothers sometimes feel towards difficult children.

The main character, Blythe, takes us on a journey that explores deep issues. What are the generational implications of being raised by a deeply damaged mother? Can parenting be inherited? Mental illness, neglect, failure to bond all resonate through the generations of mothers and daughters in this story. The author relates in excruciating detail the experiences of childbirth (with one of the most raw and realistic childbirth scenes that I have ever read!) and those early weeks and months of motherhood that take all new mothers by surprise in their intensity, beauty and pain. The complexities of love and the breakdown of a marriage in the wake of tragedy are revealed in the small details of domestic life. The crushing weight of grief at the center of the novel is palpable! Blythe’s healing journey is surprising in the path it takes, almost to the edge of madness and back.

“The Push” makes us question the very nature of reality. It makes you look at things like nature versus nurture. Our protagonist vacillates between what she believes to be true and what she so desperately wants to deny. Her foundation and entire belief system has been ripped from under her feet and she no longer trusts her motherly (or personal) instincts. As readers, we struggle with trusting the narrator not because she wishes to deceive us but because she does not trust herself.

The Push will grab you, shake you, pull you to places you aren’t sure you’re wanting to go, and stay with you and haunt you long after the final sentence leaves you gasping for air.

I absolutely recommend rushing out and grabbing your copy of The Push today! This is a thriller you don’t want to miss.

My absolute thanks to #NetGalley, @PenguinRandom, and the beyond talented @audrain Ashley Audrain for the electronic ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.


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