Rating: 3.5 / 5
THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain was our first #SaturdayBookstaClub book pick for February. I do enjoy a good creepy child book, so had high hopes when we pick this one!
THE PUSH follows Blythe, a woman who firmly believes that the women in her family are different and not destined to be good mothers. She is in love with a man who desperately wants a family, so she decides to give motherhood a shot. When their daughter Violet is born, Fox is a natural doting father but Blythe is convinced that Violet doesn’t like her. Is it postpartum depression or psychosis, or is there something really off about Violet that Fox just can’t see.
Over time Blythe sees more and more signs that something is wrong. When she gives birth to her son, she immediately sees what a mother child bond should be and how broken things are between Violet and Fox and herself.
I had high hopes for this book, but was unfortunately left with very mixed feelings. I started this book in print and was really struggling with the narration. It is written in a second person perspective as Blythe is addressing her words to her now ex-husband Fox, explaining all that happened over the years with Violet. There is a distance in the words and the way the narration is delivered which made it hard for me to connect. I switched over to audio and did find that to be a vast improvement. The narrator gave more feeling to the words than what I was getting in print.
The book jumps back and forth in time to reveal more of Blythe’s past and that of her grandmother and her mother. Each had struggles of their own with mental health. I was very frustrated when Blythe did try to seek mental health support and wound up with the laziest of therapists who didn’t even conduct an actual assessment.
In the end, I think this one succeeded at making the reader question things, but it left me with a few too many unpolished elements and characters that I struggled to like enough to connect with. It did, however, make for a fantastic discussion book!
Reading Challenge Categories:
#AroundtheYearin52Books – a book whose title and author both contain the letter “u”