Title: The Push
Author: Ashley Audrain
Narrator: Marin Ireland
My goal for 2021 is to venture outside of my comfort zone with the audiobooks I listen to. Every year I say that I’m going to do this, but by the end of the year when recapping what I listened to, it’s all young adult, thrillers, and horror. What can I say, I like what I like.
So, in January I decided to take a little leap and jump into The Push by Ashley Audrain. Described as a psychological drama, this story follows Blythe Connor and her experience of motherhood. Blythe is excited for the arrival of her little girl, Violet, but soon comes to realize that something may be wrong with her new “bundle of joy.” Blythe’s husband, Fox, dismisses her worries and, as time goes on, Blythe begins to question her own sanity.
While I’m just a cat mom and haven’t spawned any human children at this point in my life (you’re welcome, world), I still found it so easy to relate to Blythe’s struggles with womanhood and her relationship with her own mother. At times, the audiobook was hard to listen to, but only because through Marin Ireland’s masterful narration, Blythe’s stress, hurt, and the pressure she felt were conveyed so well.
The second person narration of the story combined with the bite-sized chapters made this a propulsive listen that I couldn’t (and didn’t want to) pause. I was so invested in Blythe’s story that I just had to know how it all turned out.
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.
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