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The Push by Ashley Audrain

(5 customer reviews)

$23.45

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Description

Book Summary

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.

The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.

 

Condition: New

Hardcover, Published January 5, 2021 by Pamela Dorman Books

ISBN: 9781984881663

 

 

5 reviews for The Push by Ashley Audrain

  1. Chandra

    I wasn’t *quite* sure what to expect going into this story. I didn’t read the synopsis and only caught snippets of other people’s reviews and based on that, I knew I had to read this immediately. I decided to start the audiobook this morning with coffee and well, I got sucked in and listened to it non-stop until it was over.

    I have always been fascinated with nature vs nurture and this story delves into this greatly. Is Violet the way that she appears to be because Blythe wouldn’t nurture her from the very beginning? Or was she just born this way? Detached and uncaring? Extremely intelligent and unassuming to everyone but her own mother. OR is Blythe just imagining everything, initially because of her post-partum depression, and her continued inability to bond with her daughter? Seeing things the way she wants to, even in its most horrific form? The fine line between the two is brilliantly done by Audrain.

    Blythe is a very unrealiable narrator. Being inside her head could be hard at times but it also felt VERY real. Even when I was like, “WTF are you doing, woman?”, I was also simultaneously going… “yep, I can totally see why she’s thinking/doing this”… even when she turned on stalker mode. I do kind of wish we got a bit more creepy kid (listen, I am who I am….), but I see this as less of a story about that and more of a character study of Blythe. A woman who grew up with a terrible childhood, her own mother and grandmother abusing and discarding her. These scars run deep so when she becomes pregnant with Violet, all her underlying fears of becoming a mother all seem to be coming true.

    But that last line. I really thought my audiobook broke or something because I was left hanging… staring at my speaker with my head tilted like I could force more story out of it. 🤣 Sigh… but also nice move, Audrain.. nice move. Just when I start thinking one way, you knock me back on to my seat.

    ________
    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small
    compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.
    ______
    You can find me via my blog at http://www.wherethereadergrows.com or on Bookstagram at https://www.instagram.com/wherethereadergrows/.

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  2. bookishcatsavant

    The Push is a very, very dark psychological and very realistic thriller that absolutely must come with trigger warnings. I know a lot of people don’t like warnings so I’ll add them at the end of my review.

    The story follows three generations of women who are ill-treated/abused by their mothers and they in turn become less than ideal mothers. However the bulk of the book centers around latest generation mom, Blythe, and her daughter, Violet, and son, Sam. Without giving away too much, Blythe hates one child but adores the other. This dysfunctional family dynamics creates constant tension between husband and wife, parents and children. The consequences result in either violence or tiptoeing around unspoken words.

    Couple other things I’d like to mention are the mothers constantly guessing and second-guessing themselves in everything and there’s disturbing and sometimes sick behavior. Secondly, the author leaves a few cliffhangers throughout the book, you have to make your own conclusion of things. All this is to say that this book is a work of genius and very remarkable for a debut author. I love this book but also hate the disturbing content. I read horror so I’m not easily triggered but I had to take couple of breaks with this book because of its realism. While I will be thinking of this book for a long time, I would advise anyone to please proceed with caution reading this book especially if you’re pregnant or a new mother.






    Trigger Warnings:
    Child death, child abuse, postpartum depression, tension and anxiety throughout the story

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  3. Gillian

    ‘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 like what she hoped for, and everything she feared’.

    Perfectly encapsulated by its cover description, The Push is an outstanding debut. Melancholic and thought provoking, I felt the full range of emotions on experiencing Blythe Connor’s journey of motherhood. Blythe’s inner struggle with her conflicting feelings towards daughter and son, her own formative experiences and vision of the perfect family, encourage a yearning as a reader to jump into the pages as protector.

    Interspersed with chapters delving into the experiences of her own mother and grandmother, the generational backstory was truly sobering, though fascinating in a manner that had me fully invested from beginning to end.

    Audrain doesn’t shy away from exploring the devastating premise at the heart of this novel and its ramifications for all members of the family, beautifully paving a path that maintains integrity in the story without sensationalism.

    Powerful and thought provoking, this heartbreaking story is guaranteed to envelop you and leave you contemplating its poignancy long after the final pages are turned.

    CW: Bereavement, depression, suicide

    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.

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  4. Kaylie

    *Content warning: suicide, loss of a child, mental illness, abortion

    Ashley Audrain’s debut novel The Push explores intergenerational trauma and how it affects a family through different generations. Audrain’s main character Blythe is the narrator for the majority of the story, going back and forth between her present, where she uses the second person point of view to address Violet’s father, and her past. At the same time Audrain parallels Blythe’s story with the lives of her mother Cecelia, and her grandmother Etta. It’s evident to the reader that Etta’s life and traumas impacted Cecelia’s, which impacted Blythe’s, which then impacted the relationship between Blythe and her own daughter Violet: this is classic intergenerational trauma, a cycle that is difficult to break without proper intervention.

    This is not an original plot by any means, in fact The Push is quite reminiscent of Zoje Stage’s Baby Teeth, right down to the violent child who lacks remorse and empathy and the strained relationship between mother and daughter. The similarities between Baby Teeth and The Push is a big reason why I can’t justify giving it a higher rating. The Push is dark and edgy, however it’s underwhelming in that it doesn’t push the boundaries like the reader may expect. Audrain includes themes such as: mental illness, the mother-daughter dynamic, abortion, suicide, loss of a child, and the blended family. All of these themes play into the intergenerational trauma present in The Push and Audrain did a great job and entwining these together to make a believable plot. At the same time, The Push can feel choppy, which takes away any flow that the plot has. Is it an entertaining read? Sure, but it’s lack of originality is being overlooked.

    As a Thriller Book Lover Reviewer, I receive a small compensation for the time it takes me to provide my honest reviews on the Thriller Book Lover website. Although I receive compensation for this role, my reviews are my 100% honest opinion. My ratings have not been influenced in any way by the compensation that I receive. The book review I have provided here is the same rating I would provide if I were to rate it on other book reviewing sites.

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  5. Elysse

    A great book for fans of “We Need to Talk About Kevin”. As someone who is considering starting a family, this one really sat with me… I can’t imagine having a child and questioning the baby the way our mom questions her daughter Violet in this book…. it begs the question, is she insane, or am I? This is very much told as a stream of consciousness, a woman talking directly to her ex-husband and trying to explain what she saw throughout the years in their daughter that he denied. I personally didn’t mind the way that it was told, though I could see it seeming a bit long-winded. Definitely a solid thriller for the start of your year!

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