Title: The Perfect Mother
Author : Aimee Molloy
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 05/01/18
The Perfect Mother follows a group of women who call themselves the May Mothers. They had babies due in May and started meeting together as a ‘mommy group’ when they were only pregnant. Now they all have babies that are only a little over a month old.
When the group decides that one of their own, Winnie, is in dire need of a night out, they plan a girls night at a local bar to have some adult time without the infants. But the night does not go as planned. Soon the babysitter at Winnie’s house notices that the baby monitor is filming an empty crib.
As the police become involved and begin to dig into the disappearance of Winnie’s baby, Midas, the drama begins to really unfold. Mistakes are made my law enforcement, difficult questions are asked, and hidden secrets are uncovered. Could Winnie be to blame for the disappearance of her own child? Or is someone else hiding something?
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If you are a mother and you enjoy thrillers, this is an absolute must-read. I really enjoyed this novel and it was a fairly quick read for me because I could not put it down. I was invested in the lives of the characters and I was invested in figuring out what had happened to baby Midas.
This novel uses alternating POVs, which I always love. The fun thing about all of these women is that they all have their flaws, they all have their secrets, and you will become very uncertain as to who is a reliable narrator of their POV, and who is not. You will start to suspect involvement with some of the women, you will start to question sanity of some of the women, and I promise you… you will have no idea where this story is going. All flaws aside, it was very easy to become invested in all of the characters in the novel. Each of the women had their careers and aspirations, difficulties with new motherhood, marriage or family difficulties, and unique personalities that made them interesting.
There were many times where the events in this novel reminded me of ever-famous trial of Casey Anthony. The child was ‘with the nanny/babysitter’ when the disappearance occurred, and both Winnie and Casey were unable to give clear-cut answers for some of the police’s questions. And I’m sure everyone remembers that photo of her standing on a bar dancing scandalously when the whereabouts of her child were unknown. The Perfect Mother really brings to light the scrutiny that many mothers go through when they do absolutely anything for themselves, especially when something ends up going awry. The ‘star tv reporter/spokesperson’ in The Perfect Mother was even very reminiscent of our ol’ reliable Nancy Grace–queen of drama and throwing shade at mothers.
One of the biggest interest factors for this book was the level on which I was able to connect with these women in regards to motherhood. Any mother, but especially new mothers, will be able to connect with these characters and the challenges that they are facing. The judgement thrown on new mothers.. the difficulty of breastfeeding.. the lack of sleep.. the deep-seated fear of ‘messing up’… going back to work after maternity leave.. becoming intimate again after giving birth.. and so many other topics that are going to resonate with so many women.
The ending was fantastic! I thought I knew what was going on, and I really, truly did not. It threw me for a loop and evoked so many mixed emotions. There is already a motion picture deal for The Perfect Mother and I am so excited for that. I think that this will make such a great movie and I can’t wait to see how they present some of the aspects of the book that I think would be challenging for film.
Trigger Warning(s): Child Abduction, Murder, Adultery, Mentioning of Sexual Assault/Rape, Depression, Mentioning of Abortion, Mentioning of Pregnancy Loss, Violence
Thank you to Aimee Molloy & Harper Collins for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.