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The Push By Ashley Audrain

The Push‘The Push’ is the debut novel by Ashley Audrain.

The arrival of baby Violet was meant to be the happiest day of my life. But as soon as I held her in my arms I knew something wasn’t right. I had always known that the women in my family aren’t meant to be mothers. My husband Fox says I’m imagining it. He tells me I’m nothing like my own mother, and that Violet is the sweetest child. But she’s different with me. Something feels very wrong.

‘The Push’ is Michael Joseph’s most anticipated book of 2021, a dark and chillingly crafted story about motherhood and love goes wrong.

The story is seen through the narrative of 3 generations of women, Cecelia, Etta and Blythe as they experience motherhood for the first time and they wait for the influx of emotions of love and care and are instead left with nothing. They retreat, they become cold and become completely different to the person they were before the babies.

The story is primarily seen through the narrative of Blythe who’s own mother had struggled with motherhood and Blythe is determined to be the perfect mother when her own baby is born. But her daughter Violet is the total opposite to what she expected with a vicious, cold and nasty streak that makes Blythe fearful of her and guilty and frustrated that she’s unable to have a close relationship with her daughter. When, when Blythe has a son, she is overjoyed at the second chance with motherhood and embrace it wholeheartedly, aware that in the background, Violet is watching closely.

‘The Push’ is a chilling and an uncomfortable read. It’s delves deeply into motherhood and the impact of the difficult children and the fear that something bad is going to happen. Throughout the book, it’s riddled with tension and unease as Violet connects with her father and grandparents but constantly pushes Blythe making her doubt her own sanity as well as capability as a mother. Ashley has created a compelling book with intriguing and unsettling characters that made it impossible to put down. The book also slightly reminded me of ‘Good Me, Bad Me’ by Ali Land, which is another fantastic debut. The perspectives of the different mothers throughout the years was a clever addition to the story and kept the reader on their toes, as you piecing the story together.

A book that delves into the insecurities and expectations of motherhood with an unravelling protagonist that makes for sympathetic and gripping reading, ‘The Push’ is a stunning debut that is well worthy of the hype and publicity behind it and was also my first read book of 2021.

You can buy ‘The Push’ from Amazon and other good bookshops.

I Wanted You To Know By Laura Pearson

I Wanted You To Know‘I Wanted You To Know’ is the latest book by Laura Pearson.

Jess never imagined she’d be navigating single motherhood, let alone while facing breast cancer. A life that should be just beginning is interrupted by worried looks, heavy conversations, and the possibility of leaving her daughter to grow up without her. Propelled by a ticking clock, Jess knows what she has to do: tell her daughter everything. How to love, how to lose, how to forgive, and, most importantly, how to live when you never know how long you have.

I spent this morning with my head in this book and towards the end, I could barely see the words for the tears, as this book is such a genuinely heartbreaking story.

It’s seen through the narrative of Jess, at twenty one years of age, is told that she’s dying of cancer. Having to deal with this news as well as cope with being a new mother, she writes letters to her little girl to tell her about her mother that she wouldn’t know, as well as offer advice for the times that she’s not around.

Beautifully written, the story evokes such emotion throughout. As a cancer survivor, Laura writes from experience about her time and gives an insight into the illness and the trauma of it.

The story really tugs at the heartstrings and is such a powerful piece of writing. As Jess reflects on the life that she has led and the life that she will be leaving, it’s hard not to feel emotional whilst reading the letters that she writes to her daughter, Edie.

A heartfelt and honest story, ‘I Wanted You To Know’ is a story, that really stays with the reader long after you’ve reached the final page and has you pulling your loved ones in for an extra hug.

You can buy ‘I Wanted You To Know’ on Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Everything and Nothing by Araminta Hall

Everything And Nothing book cover

Everything and Nothing is the debut novel by journalist turned full time writer Araminta Hall. It tells the story of Christian and Ruth, to the outside world they may look like the perfect couple but on the inside they are struggling to keep it together, after Christian admits to getting his secretary pregnant but Ruth forgives him as she is also pregnant with his child and is afraid of being alone.

Fast forward three years they are miserable, Ruth stressed with her job, a tempermental daughter and a three year old that doesn’t eat, only takes a bottle and Christian has to deal with the guilt of his affair. Deciding that she can’t cope with a full time job and two young kids, Ruth decides to enlist the aid of a nanny and hires Aggie, a quiet 23 year old with a dark past. Aggie cares for the children as if they are her own and lovingly takes them under her wing, especially with Hal as she tries to hide them from the darker side of life that she was exposed to as a child.

Unknown to Ruth and Christian, they think they have found the perfect nanny but begin to suspect otherwise when Aggies mask begins to fall. Something and Nothing was a great read, I enjoyed each character and liked seeing their various sides and why they did what they did. I especially enjoyed the suspense and tension throughout the book, which was oddly more prominent at a childrens party. I found Aggie the most interesting of the main three characters, the flashbacks into her past made you almost feel sorry for the person she was and for the things she did throughout the story. Araminta Hall is definitely an author to look out for.

You can buy Everything and Nothing on Amazon and other good bookshops.