A review by inkedwxtchreads
The Push, by Ashley Audrain


This is the second time I’ve read this, and I will say I did enjoy it more this time around. It’s getting a raise from 2 stars to 3 stars. But I have to say, most of my old complaints are the same, and then some.

I liked the writing style a lot more this time. I liked that the whole book was actually told to you like a story, or like you’re reading a letter (which for the most part you are), I found the writing style this time around really easy to read and really fascinating to read. Before I disliked it.

I also liked see the 3 generations of mothers, and basically what could have played a part in all of this. I enjoyed seeing the struggle of is it nature or nurture through Blythes (Main character) own disconnect as well. So yeah, I did pick some stuff up that I didnt before and it was certainly thought provoking at times.

However the author made some strange choices that really took me out of the story. For instance when Blythe was looking at pictures of child criminals, and was having some inner monologue pondering when it may have started for them, she had the thought of “I wonder how small the boys genitals would have been at the time”…. And it’s just like…. Whaaaat? I get she was trying to show they were already young, so how much younger were they when it started? But this is such a weird and inappropriate way to word that. Like there are so many other ways to get the same idea across. I get blythes mind was a bit weird…. But still. This added nothing for me other than making me feel like the author is weird for that sentence.

I also had an issue with part of the main plot supposedly being “is she crazy or is she not”? If that was an aspect the author wanted, she failed largely at conveying it. Never once this entire time did I think Blythe was crazy. I just thought she was being insanely gaslit by her husband, at times to an extent where it didn’t even feel realistic and I had to suspend my disbelief and mark it off as “okay this author has a message and she’ll be as extreme as possible to make it known”. But yeah, you pretty much know where this is going from the beginning. Nothing ever really happens to make you question it imo.

And that leaves me with…. What even was the message? I mean sure the story was fascinating. But if the message was that our backgrounds can condition who we are or impact us….. then like okay… or that we can be nurtured despite our background…cool, but that’s just not enough for me. We’ve known this as a society for YEARS, this is not an innovative idea by this author and many books have been done, but better, with the same idea. This book lacked the something extra. Or maybe it was “don’t gaslight women”? I mean… cool. Still didn’t work for me.

Something else that kinda bothered me was the totally torturous way motherhood is made to seem in this book. But maybe I just don’t relate? I’m someone who has my own mommy issues…. So yeah I struggled with my daughter. But no… this book doesn’t feel familiar to me. Motherhood isn’t perfect and it’s sure not always rainbows and butterflies. But I just can’t connect with how awful this book wants to make it come across. Some of the other ideas of the purpose of motherhood the author seems to think are mandatory I just don’t vibe with. Honestly I would have guessed that this author was child free with the way she wrote about it. But no…. She has kids. I feel like parts of this were written to be like “you’re not alone, I see you”….. but for me it’s like “I’ve had some dark days, but never like that, so I can’t say I see you back”. I mean no judgement or disrespect if you related to this books commentary. This is just how it was for me.

Don’t even get me started on how disgusted this author seems to be by women’s bodies after they’ve had kids. At one point she refers to her boobs as “small sandbags”… and talks badly about other aspects of her body the entire book.

That’s all. I won’t say much more. I really don’t wanna ruin the little joy I did manage to find in this book, for myself! Take this as it is. A lot of this book is going to hit different people differently. I’m rating on how much I enjoyed my experience.

For all the issues I had with it, I bumped it up to 3 stars, because I do think people should read this for themselves, as I don’t think it’s an inherently bad book. Just polarizing depending on what you get out of it.