In this tense, debut psychological thriller, a woman is tormented by the question of whether she is facing the normal struggles of new motherhood, or if there is something wrong with her daughter.
Blythe Connor was never confident that she had what it took to be a good mother; the women in her family have a history of being poorly suited for the role. When her daughter, Violet, is born, she is plagued with doubts. Is she failing in some way, unsuited to the challenges that the rest of the mothers she knows handle easily, or is Violet different from other children? Her husband doesn't see it, and Blythe wonders about her own sanity. Her second child, Sam, is born, and motherhood comes far more easily. Then tragedy strikes, and their family unravels as Blythe struggles to understand what happened.
The Push by Ashley Audrain is claustrophobically narrated by Blythe, addressed to her husband, keeping readers wondering about how trustworthy her perspective is. With only Blythe's observations, often refuted by her husband and minimized by other women, the question hangs over every page: Is what Blythe thinks she sees merely the effect of postpartum depression compounded by grief, or is Violet dangerous? Blythe's family history becomes clearer and her own behavior becomes more unbalanced as the story progresses. Until the breathtaking final page, readers will question whether they are witnessing the fallout of a tragic accident or something far more twisted. --Kristen Allen-Vogel, information services librarian at Dayton Metro Library