The Push, a debut novel, is a psychological thriller that tells the tales of three generations of women who have been abused and are passing on their traumas to each other. The unsettling reality that Blythe finds herself in is her inability to know what a good mother is or how to become a good mother. She doesn’t have the confidence to trust her instincts. So, when she finally had her daughter, Violet, nothing seems to be the way it should, but how can she truly know. This book makes you think about how fragile mother-daughter relationships are and where struggles between them originated.
Blythe is trying to change the abuse sequences, but her husband is dismissive and provides no support. Thankfully she has a clue what it means to be a loving mother by her relationship with a neighbor growing up who could see her for the beautiful child she was. Kirkus Review wrote, “A finely wrought psychological study of motherhood and inherited trauma…not for the faint of heart; it offers no easy answers.” All I can say is that it has been a long time since the very last paragraph changed the entire book for me. I read this book in one sitting.
The Push by Ashley Audrain (List Price: $26.oo, Pamela Dorman Books, 9781984881663, January 5, 2021)
Reviewed by Lauren Zimmerman, Writers Block Bookstore in Winter Park, Florida