I read The Push by Ashley Audrain as part of a global readalong. Huge thank you to tandem and to Michael J Books, for sending me a hardcover copy of this book so I can join the readalong. The Push really intrigued me from the very first start and it was one of those books I devoured in a day, needing to know the next chapter. If you’re looking for a fast-paced thriller, it will not let you down.
Blythe is afraid that history will repeat itself when her first child, Violet, is born. Having a complicated relationship with her own mother, she is dedicated to give all the love and attention to Violet.
But Violet is not an easy child, and something is not right. She doesn’t smile at all, and no matter how much Blythe tried, Violet seems to not like her at all. Blythe’s husband, Fox, is certain that Blythe is just imagining this. But he cannot understand what Blythe has experienced as a child.
Fighting a battle that she might never be able to win, Blythe is on the verge of losing her daughter, her family, her husband, her marriage, and everything she does seems to be wrong. Is her child really evil, or is she just being delusional?
The Push was certainly a different book, unlike anything else I’ve read. Many people in our group have compared it to “We Need To Talk About Kevin” by Lionel Shriver, because of the style of writing. I haven’t read that one, so I couldn’t compare it, but it’s definitely on my radar now.
The Push is written in a first person perspective, where Blythe is telling her story to her husband, Fox. There are also parts in the book where we follow the stories of Blythe’s mother and Blythe’s grandmother. These parts help us learn more about those relationships and help us understand Blythe better, as well how her childhood plays a part in her relationship with her daughter, Violet.
The relationship between Blythe and Violet was presented in such a unique way, full of anxiety. Their interactions made me uncomfortable many times, but I enjoyed that. It’s not often that a book can push me out of comfort zone like that and I hope to find more books like this in the future. I am not a mother myself, but this book might be a hard read for parents. Especially during certain scenes, I could barely read chapters without taking a break.
The short chapters and the many plot twists are what made The Push unputdownable for me.
I was staying up all night, flipping pages and I loved that. I mostly felt for Blythe, because of what she was going through. no one should have to experience that and she should have received more support from her husband. However, there were also instances where she was neglecting Violet as a child and I wonder whether this had any consequences to Violet’s personality later on, as well as her development.
I loved the suspense of The Push, as well as the fact that we can never truly trust Blythe to tell us the truth, because this is her story, but it may not necessarily be completely true. The only part that I wanted more of was the ending. It didn’t finish as concluded as I’d hoped, but that’s just my personal preference. I also hoped to see Violet’s point of view, as well as what was going on through the husband’s mind – I feel like this might have brought more plot twists, or make people choose sides and discuss this.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Push.
It was a very interesting and dark psychological thriller. Extremely fast-paced and full of plot twists. If you are looking for something to keep you on your toes, look no further.