Blythe’s relationship with her mother has always been problematic. When her daughter Violet is born, she is determined to be a perfect parent, but the strain of early motherhood leaves her baffled. Soon, she starts to suspect something is wrong with her baby girl. She does not behave as expected and seems to reject her mother’s attempts to build a connection between them. When Fox, Violet’s father, dismisses all of Blythe’s concerns, she starts to scrutinise her daughter’s behaviour…
The Push is a fascinating account of complex relationships between mothers and daughters. The author speaks openly about the less bright aspects of motherhood: the exhaustion, confusion and overwhelming social expectations. Society has a model of a mother and her relationship with her child, but Blythe simply does not fit. She starts to wonder if something is wrong with the baby or herself? Should she do things differently? Do they need help? Is it all in her head? The questions multiply, making the reader question Blythe’s reliability as a narrator.
This novel is a captivating, fast-paced psychological drama. It challenges the accepted models and patterns of behaviour. It asks questions that many might find uncomfortable. I found it fascinating.