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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.1 out of 5
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  • A moving read

    My last few books have been quite bleak and a little disturbing - so I thought I would stay on trend for ‘The Push’! Blythe and Fox are a happily married couple, but when baby Violet comes along, Blythe has to admit something seems… off about her. The Push is a psychological thriller told from the perspective of Blythe and it is mainly told as if written for her husband (he is referred to as ‘You’ in second person). We also get some flashback snippets of Blythe’s own childhood with her mother Cynthia and Cynthia’s childhood with her mother Etta. It was nice to have the other perspectives woven into the story and they really emphasise the debate of nature vs nurture in terms of what makes children what they are. Although Etta’s story is told in italics, the other flashbacks are not titled or dated and aren’t used regularly enough so it is a little jolting each time they are presented to the reader. I actually read the story in one sitting so it did hold my interest, however I did feel like it dragged in places and some of it could have been cut down to make for a more impactful story. The plot reminded me a lot of ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’ but I also felt like I had read the story before in other places as well – nothing about it felt particularly original or shocking. The end twist I had been waiting for from around the halfway point of the story and so the whole thing felt very predictable, although it was moving in its telling. Overall The Push was a moving, if predictable read. Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin UK – Michael Joseph for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • An Astonishing Début

    Blythe Connor struggles to connect with her newborn daughter and worries that her own traumatic childhood has damaged her ability to properly bond as a parent. Her husband, Fox thinks it's all in her imagination and is dismissive of her fears. As Blythe battles with her thoughts and pushes herself through the endless stress-filled days of parenting a young child, she questions her sanity. When her son, Sam is born things become a little easier and even Violet seems to adore and accept her baby brother... Ashley Audrain's compelling début is a multilayered, complex, family-drama-style thriller. This tense tale explores Blythe's history, her traumatic childhood and upbringing, and her problematic relationship with her mother, Cecilia and her grandma, Etta. It looks into Bythe's college days, meeting Fox and their subsequent marriage. At times rather disturbing and unsettling, The Push gives the reader plenty to dwell on. In short, a remarkable, emotional and immersive début. I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Penguin Michael Joseph UK via NetGalley. This review is my own unbiased opinion.

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    4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Chilling and emotive - a compelling read

    This story is intense, dark, emotional, incredibly moving and sad. It is also one hell of a page turner. I don’t think I ever read a book inside a week no matter how good it is and whilst I was given kind of a deadline, I certainly didn’t have any complaints attempting to reach that deadline. Both the writing and the story are very compelling. It tells of the relationship between mother and daughter over 3 generations. It is mainly set in the present and told from the point of view of Blythe with flashbacks to her childhood experiences with her mum and in turn her mum’s childhood experiences with Blythe’s grandmother. None of them happy and all with an overriding sense of cruelty and emotional neglect. In the present Blythe is struggling with motherhood. Her daughter Violet has not been an easy child since she was born, coupled with the fact that Blythe, like any first time new mum is finding it difficult to come to terms with the upheaval that a new baby brings about and wonders if she’s doing it right. Her husband seems to have the magic touch with their new daughter, always seems to be able to calm and settle her much better than Blythe ever can. As time goes on and as Violet grows older the relationship between Violet and her mother become ever more fraught. Violet can be very cool towards her mother and pushes her away, favouring spending time with her father instead. Blythe begins to worry that something isn’t right with Violet but her husband dismisses it as her imagination and suggests that perhaps Blythe is the one with the problem. I won’t say any more about the story. It would spoil it for potential readers. It’s a book that questions does being a mother come naturally to every woman? How much of an effect does a less than adequate upbringing have in future years as that child grows into an adult. I did wonder if perhaps Blythe was suffering Post-natal depression, but this was only touched upon in the book and dismissed as tiredness. It’s a story of nature vs nurture, how much a parent is willing to turn a blind eye to their child’s behaviour because they’re too frightened to admit there may be a problem. A well written story that is very hard to put down, and the ending? Well…….you’ll have to read it!

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    2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Chilling

    This is a very dark but compelling read that leaves you questioning what is wrong with Blythe or if her problem really is her daughter Violet. The bits of Blythe’s family history that are told show a lack of maternal ability however does that mean it’s hereditary? I found the style of writing quite original but very readable, it put you right inside Blythe’s head extremely well. It was very chilling but a heck of a page turner and so unusual to read a book questioning what is supposed to be natural to women.

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

  • Amazing

    Couldn't put this book down, this was truly gripping,

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    0 person found this review helpful

    0 people found this review helpful

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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