Book: The Push
Ashley Audrain
Fiction > Family Drama > Marriage
Date Read:
Stars: ★★★☆☆

Challenge: The 52 Book Club
Promt: #1 – A second-person narrative

Blythe and Fox met in college in a whirlwind of romance that soon resulted in marriage. When Blythe hesitatingly agrees to have a baby, it began the downfall of their marriage; likewise, the emotional disconnect/neglect between mother and baby. Soon follow devastation.

This story is of a multi-generational trauma between mother-daughter relationships. It is penned as a letter to the protagonist’s husband.

Unpopular Opinion a painful read. As a mother who went through postpartum depression, it was agony watching the protagonist and her husband continually dig themselves in a deeper grave when they should have pursued the help they were offered and desperately needed. Both continually circumvented complex issues by superficial communication that caused emotional and physical repercussions: loss of self, undefined expectations, collapse of their marriage, extramarital affair, neglect of their daughter, and multiple deaths.

Giving birth is difficult. After birth is confusing with hormones striving for equilibrium. Motherhood is an emotional roller coaster. In the chaos of it all, include work/life balance and seeking a new significance mingled with holding on to a sliver of who we used to be when we can’t find time to take a shower or partake in a self-care ritual in the sliver of remnant time we could be catching up on sleep. Most days are spent in a zombie like state – going through the motions of the mundane and the insignificance of life. 

We start questioning our existence, we doubt our decisions, we become uncertain with parenting, we start comparing ourselves to other mothers who seem to have it all together, our narrative becomes skewed, and we battle our own demons – but as women, we pull through and do what’s best for our family.

It was difficult to connect with the main character and her husband. They were cold, distant, and unlikable. The whole family was clearly in denial of their emotional and physical issues and abandoned any help they could have gained. 

There were countless moments when Blythe deserved to be slapped for the things she continued to do and not do. Likewise, her weakling of a husband wasn’t man enough to improve the family dynamics that unfortunately devolved into the ever expanding chasm that broke the bond and trust crucial for the nuclear family.

I just found the actions of these characters absurd. Enough is enough.