Author: Aimee Molloy
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Release Date: May 1, 2018
Pages: 336 [hardcover]
Thank you Leslie at Harper for sending me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
*SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
STARRING KERRY WASHINGTON*
“The Perfect Mother is a gripping page turner that explores the pressures of modern motherhood, as well as a mother’s absolute worst nightmare. At once wonderfully nuanced and compulsively readable, it keeps you guessing at every moment until the very end. I could not be prouder to be bringing this thriller to the big screen.”
Imagine: you just found out you are pregnant with your first child. You are scared, thrilled, anxious. Constant worry floods your mind, what if he or she isn’t healthy? What if I am doing something wrong?
Naturally, you turn to the internet. You find a website that connects you with other pregnant women in your area with a due date around the same time as yours. You converse, share stories, relate to one another. Finally, this human growing inside of you seems totally normal.
In this story, the Brooklyn-based women who connect on a similar site are all due in May. They call themselves the May Mothers. They share everything: their constipation, worries, back pains, everything. After giving birth they meet in the park weekly, strollers and sippy cups in tow.
They are exhausted. They deserve a night out, a drink or two will be good for them. None of them expected for one of their newborns to be abducted… While the actual abduction happens in the early pages, the crime itself unravels slowly. The story reveals itself through several viewpoints, changing often and without notice. From these viewpoints, there are several highlighted mothers explaining their thought process/guilt after the abduction.
It is not always obvious as to whose POV is being told, until a clue such as the name of their husband/child appears. Sometimes it takes a paragraph or two for the reader to understand whose thought process is depicted (quite confusing).
I am NOT a mother, therefore I probably have no right claiming this… but Molloy did a phenomenal job alluding to the struggles of becoming a new mom. Unlike other novels, there is not a glam factor to motherhood. The mothers describe the pressures of:
being a ‘good mom’;
living off of hardly any sleep;
breastfeeding and the inability to;
the health of the baby;
short/unpaid maternity leave; and
The Perfect Mother is highly unpredictable, with hardly any leads whatsoever.
I THOUGHT the book was moving slowly. I THOUGHT it was confusing that the reader was left to decipher whose POV the story was coming from, as it switched often and without notice. But in the end it all clicks together in the most mind-blowing, deranged fashion.
Personally, stories involving baby abductions are not for me. Mysteries are my jam, and this one did not disappoint. But there is something infuriating and nauseating about causing harm to a defenseless baby.
On that note, I will not let my personal preferences affect the rating of this book.