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“The Push” by Ashley Audrain

The Weight of Motherhood

By Kristiyan ParzulovPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

Ashley Audrain’s compelling psychological thriller “The Push” explores the limits of trust, the ramifications of childhood trauma, and the complexity of parenthood. Published in 2021, this thought-provoking book chronicles the lives of Blythe Connor, a mother who struggles to raise her daughter Violet in the wake of a disturbing heritage of maternal dysfunction. We will go into the complex storyline of “The Push,” talking about its main ideas, characters, and reader reaction.

The Story

After a difficult upbringing, Blythe Connor is resolved to give her own daughter, Violet, the best mother she can be in the beginning of the story. In an effort to build a secure and devoted family, she marries Fox. However, parenting turned out to be more difficult than she had anticipated. Blythe was deeply scarred by her emotionally distant and maybe violent mother, Cecelia. These wounds show up as worry and fear regarding her own parenting skills.

Her daughter Violet is a mysterious youngster who makes Blythe doubt her own sanity. Blythe senses that something is wrong from the start. Violet behaves in a way that is frequently unsettling and is not what one would anticipate from a conventional child. Blythe feels alone and self-conscious since her worries about her daughter’s actions are seen with suspicion and disdain.

We see Blythe’s frantic attempts to be the best mother she can be as the narrative progresses. She asks for help from experts, therapists, and other mothers. But as her tension and anxiety grow, her relationships with Fox and her own mother deteriorate. Blythe experiences intense feelings of remorse, loneliness, and uncertainty during her journey. The book poses important queries on the difficulties of parenthood, the pressure to be the ideal child, and the mental toll it can have on a woman.

“The Push” has generational trauma as one of its main topics. Blythe experiences intense anguish and bewilderment in her relationship with Cecelia, her own mother. She struggles to decide whether she is destined to replicate the patterns of her own childhood as she navigates her role as a mother. This theme emphasizes how the book explores how mother relationships have a lasting effect and how they may both mold and haunt people for the rest of their lives.

The book also explores the idea of the “perfect mother” and the social pressure women face to live up to this standard. Blythe goes to great lengths to prove herself since she is afraid she won’t be a good mother. She loses herself in the desire to be the ideal mother, even at the cost of her own emotional and mental health. This issue discusses how women’s demands from society might negatively impact their mental health.

Ashley Audrain adeptly illustrates the depths of Blythe’s emotional suffering through first-person narration. It’s simple to relate to Blythe’s challenges because we get a close-up view of her inner thoughts and anxieties. We are sucked into her world as readers and the gripping psychological drama that takes place.

The Characters

Blythe Connor

Blythe, the heroine of the book, is a nuanced individual. She is committed to becoming a better mother to her daughter Violet despite the fact that her own horrific background has left her with severe emotional wounds. But Violet’s actions push her to the verge of insanity due to her mounting worries and uncertainties. Blythe’s persona serves as a metaphor for the experience of being a mother since she is racked with insecurity and anxiety over making the same mistakes twice.

Violet Connor

For her mother, Blythe’s daughter Violet is a mystery and a cause of worry. Sometimes she acts in a really frightening way, and Blythe finds it difficult to relate to her. The potential of hereditary qualities and the nature vs nurture debate are brought up by Violet’s character.

Fox Connor

Fox, Blythe’s spouse, finds himself entangled in the tumultuous mother-daughter dynamic. He is frequently caught between believing that Blythe is overstating the matter and his wife’s worries. His persona serves as a reflection of the difficulties in providing support to a spouse dealing with mental health issues.


Though indirectly, Blythe’s mother Cecelia has a major part in the story. She treated Blythe abusively and emotionally distantly, which caused long-lasting damage. The influence of parental bonds on a person’s life and the intergenerational nature of trauma are both highlighted by Cecelia’s character.

Impact and Reception

“The Push” has won praise from critics for its insightful examination of the psychological and emotional difficulties associated with parenthood. Readers who have found the novel to be both emotionally and intellectually stimulating have connected with it. The book has received recognition for portraying the pressure to be the “perfect mother” and the complexity of maternal relationships in a realistic and profound way. Many people have praised Ashley Audrain for her deft storytelling and capacity to arouse sympathy for Blythe’s character.

Many readers have reported that “The Push” is a gripping and eerie story that draws them in on Blythe’s deteriorating mental health. The novel’s exploration of mother ties’ enduring effects and generational trauma has spurred conversations about how family dynamics influence people’s lives.

Apart from receiving positive reviews from critics, “The Push” has also been a commercial success, drawing interest from literary groups and book clubs as well as a large readership. For readers who enjoy women’s novels, family dramas, and psychological thrillers, it has been suggested that they read it right away.


In her work “The Push,” Ashley Audrain deftly and provocatively examines the intricacies of parenting, the lingering effects of intergenerational trauma, and the expectations society places on women to embody the ideal of the “perfect mother.” The work challenges readers to consider the nature of maternal connections and how they affect a person’s life via the prism of Blythe Connor’s turbulent path.

The narrative of the book is emotionally and suspensefully charged, and it deftly employs first-person narration to immerse readers in Blythe’s world and her inner torment. The plot is made much more interesting by the characters’ highly complex portrayals, especially those of Blythe and Violet.

Both readers and critics have found “The Push” to be resonant, which has sparked conversations about the difficulties of parenting, the enduring impact of maternal relationships, and the pressure to be the “perfect mother.” It is regarded as one of the most significant and potent pieces of modern literature, providing a fascinating examination of the intricacies of the mother experience.

If you enjoyed my summary then you should definitely check out the full book here.

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About the Creator

Kristiyan Parzulov

I Give my Personal Book Reviews 👏👏 of the Most Popular Bestsellers!

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