Book Review of The Push – Taut and Well Written
My Rating – 4 out of 5
Plot Summary – The Push
Ashley Audrain is a debutant, as an author. After you finish reading The Push, you will not believe it, so I’ve put that fact right at the beginning. This book is so captivating, so believable that many established authors who’ve been writing for decades, will be put to shame. The story is told in a first-person narrative and begins with the sappy teenage romance of Blythe and Fox and then a jump ahead in time – when Blythe watches her daughter Violet growing up in Fox’s new family from afar.
The pretext of this novel is motherhood, not the adorable, all-is-well, fairy tale types, but about the dark challenges of the pain, the sleepless nights and the focus of the world shifting onto the newborn. It is about the unspoken raw emotions of a woman transitioning into a new phase, alone and helpless, more often than not. The world believes you are awestruck by the new life you have birthed and all the pain and trauma is worth every second, and after a few years when you look back it is probably so, but then, at that moment, there are dark thoughts that cross your mind…
Blythe is the conflicted one, coming from a line of women – her grandmother Etta and mother Cecilia – who were both poor examples of motherhood. Her mother deserted her when she was 11, and those were years that left deep psychological scars on her soul. She’d promised to herself and to Fox, that she’ll be none of that. She’ll be the most perfect mother possible, spending quality time with her children and giving them the kind of childhood every child deserves.
This is where reality intervenes – Violet is born to Blythe and Fox – the bundle of joy every parent looks forward to. Outwardly Blythe says and does all the right things, but deep inside she feels that Violet doesn’t like her – as if she senses the discomfort in Blythe, a teeny sense that Blythe doesn’t like her too and therefore rebuffs all Blythe’s efforts to be a normal mother to her. This conflict between mother and daughter doesn’t escape Fox’s notice, but his efforts to placate Blythe’s fears fall on deaf ears after a while.
When their son Sam is born, the magic is instantaneous and diametrically different. Blythe feels an emotional attachment with Sam that she’s never felt with Violet and the reader’s opinion goes topsy-turvy again! Then unspeakable tragedy strikes and their entire world changed in that instant. Dark psychological traumas of a blistered childhood shape the future of a child when he/she grows up, but rarely do we look at what it does to would-be mothers’ mental make-up.
Conclusion of the review of The Push
The Push is a force of nature, sucking the reader into a dark world of troubled psychology. It holds you by the scruff of your neck and doesn’t let go till the last page and even then you hanker for more! Motherhood has never been nor will ever be a bed of roses, one has to experience it to know what I mean. Men, who have an outside view of it, can never thoroughly comprehend the immensity of that role or responsibility.
The dark unspoken aspects of motherhood – even the most conflicted and outspoken women would shy away from voicing it openly – makes up the gist of The Push. It’s troubling….brilliant storytelling which makes it such a compulsive read. Much after you finish reading the novel, the aftershocks keep rocking you, such is the power and strength of the narrative. Read it if you haven’t yet, and you are welcome already!!