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The Push Bets On...

The Push

January 2021

THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain is a debut novel that is both sharp and thought-provoking. In it, Blythe is a new mother. She and her husband, Fox, were happy newlyweds, and she was so excited about becoming a mother. However, once her daughter is born, she sees this as a lot less wonderful than what she had hoped for. Her own mother and grandmother were not role models; each harbored different strains of mental illness, and the ramifications from their issues made life difficult for her as she was growing up.

Blythe is determined to be the perfect mother for her own daughter, but she feels there is something wrong with baby Violet as she sees actions in her that are frightening. Is she making this up? Fox sees none of these behaviors, so she begins to question herself. And then Blythe has a son, and with him she has the warm, mothering relationship she expected to have with her daughter. But then something happens to shatter their world.

The book is written in the second person, as Blythe speaks to Fox and tries to share with him her anxieties. As the book opens, we see her looking through a window and seeing her husband and daughter, which immediately sparks a question as to why she is not with them. It pivots in many directions with backstory about Blythe’s mother and grandmother, as well as her unraveling. The book has been described as an emotional thriller, and one can see that being a great moniker for it.

This would be a terrific book group discussion book --- and I will never look at pink mittens the same way again. You will find out why! I am looking forward to seeing what Ashley writes next.

The Push
by Ashley Audrain