THE PERFECT MOTHER
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF THE SUMMER—SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING SCANDAL’S KERRY WASHINGTON
An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.
A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.
When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.
*3.6ish Stars*…because I’m annoyingly indecisive with ratings!
“Mothers and babies. You’re everywhere. I hope you appreciate everything you have.”
Meet The May Mothers: A newly-acquainted group of first-time moms who’ve all delivered their babies in the month of May.
They trade parenting tips, share undiluted birthing stories, vent about their constant lack of sleep…nothing glaringly out of the ordinary here.
Until one of their babies goes missing during a much-needed girl’s night out.
And suddenly these moms learn that the their newfound bonds merely skim the surfaces of deep connection—as none of them truly knows who the other is at heart.
This story took a while to grip me, and I’d say the second half fairly surpasses the first in its intrigue.
What ensues is an energizing string of amateur sleuthing, local news reports, police questioning, mommies with a mission, and suspicion sprinkled indiscriminately throughout.
This author did a fantastic job portraying the anxieties and concerns of first-time moms, all of whom host their own set of personal challenges: the guilt they feel working with their babies left at home, or those twinges of regret and pangs of insignificance that linger after giving up their careers entirely.
As mothers, we tend to doubt ourselves at times. We too often compare ourselves to other moms; our kids to other kids.
But the truth is, perfection isn’t attainable. Everyone’s situation is unique, and I could see these characters gradually reflecting that and evolving—caring less and less about what “looks” right and focusing more on what feelsright for them.
The mystery circling this plot was pretty tight, but would have summoned more power had certain characters had more exposure.
Those characters in the forefront were entirely three-dimensional. But others, although important, felt hollow—like phantoms, never fully coming to life within the story.
The end scene, when everything finally comes to a head, had me divided: On the one hand, it offered a meaty dose of insanity that was both disturbing and richly entertaining, and not to be missed!
But on the flip side, there was a lot of information-dumping; a vocal unraveling of the entire mystery reminiscent of how a cartoon villain reveals the deranged details of his evil crusade in a step-by-step fashion, delighted with himself for pulling a fast one over the “good guys”.
I always find a finale of the nut-job-explains-all variety to be a rushed and awkward experience, whether in books or movies. I would much prefer having witnessed such lunacy play out, if even through flashbacks. The final “reveal” just didn’t have enough groundwork to convince me.
Overall, this was a good read with a very natural writing style, and realistic dialogue and interactions. I do think many readers will have a lot of fun with this one and I certainly look forward to more from this author!