ARC Review: The Push by Ashley Audrain

Good Evening Everyone

Hope you’re all well. I’ve spent most of this week trying to get back to normality and settle back into life. To be honest it’s not been bad and the week has flown by. I’ve only just realised it’s Friday tomorrow. I’m still living that lockdown life but my partner and I have kitted ourselves out for lots of long walks so we can have something to do together that’s not in the house.

Book πŸ“–

The cover of this book is what caught my attention and then once I’d read the synopsis I knew I wanted to read it. Thank you to @MichaelJBooks and @audrain for this advanced audio copy of The Push in return for an honest review. The Push is published today; 7th January 2021 and you can get a copy here.

Description πŸ”–

Blythe Connor did not receive the upbringing that a child deserves but she does not want the cycle to continue. When her first daughter Violet is born, she knows that she will shower her with mother’s love. Except becoming a parent for the first time isn’t always flowers and rainbows and Blythe struggles with her baby girl.

Her husband Fox, doesn’t take Blythe’s concerns seriously and insists that she is imagining the disdain that Violet has towards her. Blythe feels like nothing she can do can mend the relationship between her and her daughter and fears that the love she has for her family will not be enough to save it.

General Thoughts πŸ€”

This book brought out feelings in me that I didn’t know were there. I got so invested in the storyline and the characters that it felt so real and so close to me personally. I haven’t been through any of the things that any of the characters have but goodness it hit me.

I didn’t find this an easy book to read but it was a book I could not put down. I mean there were a few times I had to because it all felt a bit much, but I was back in very shortly after. It’s as dark as storylines get and for some sick reason, that’s what made me love it so much. The whole concept of dysfunctional mother daughter relationships being passed down in generations was fascinating. I found myself questioning if wanting to break the cycle is enough to actually break it or is it something that’s just ingrained in people from early on in life.

Characters πŸ‘­πŸ‘¬πŸ‘«

Immediately I was gripped by the characters in this book. They were all deeply flawed in very different ways.

My heart broke for Blythe. Many times whilst reading I thought about whether anyone would do things differently to how she did. I felt like Blythe had been dealt a seriously bad hand in life and did not receive the love, attention and support that all of us require just to make it through the day sometimes. Throw into that the difficulties with Violet and I can’t even imagine what I would have done in her shoes.

I thought that Fox was disappointing as a man, as a husband and as a father. I suspected that this was due to the type of childhood that he had; stay at home mother who doted on him and a comfortable family life. Maybe he put so much pressure on his own adult life to mirror that of his parents that he blinded himself to the reality that was right in front of his eyes in his own home.

Writing Style ✍️

This is a fantastically written debut novel. I take so much pleasure from reading great debuts as it’s almost like I can feel the love that must have gone into the author’s work. One thing I will say is that I’m not sure I would want to live in Ashley Audrain’s brain; there are some pretty dark places hidden in there.

The book flits back and forth between Blythe as a child and Blythe as an adult. It is all written from her perspective; as I believe it should have been. I listened to the audiobook and the narration was perfect for the character of Blythe and the story. If I was to hear that voice again, it would be Blythe’s voice I’d be listening to.

Conclusion & Scoring πŸ…

I had chills reading this and any book that can do that for such an extended period of time has to be great right? All of the feels jump right off the page and I challenge anyone to read this and not empathise with the struggle, the loneliness and despair that’s threaded throughout the story. A fantastic book about the dark side of motherhood. I’m so happy this is published today as I’ve already got friends downloading to read. I won’t be forgetting about this incredible story any time soon.


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