The Perfect Motherby Aimee Molloy Published 01 May 2018
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Vanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books 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.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child-centered lives.
When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is abducted from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.
Though none of the other members in the group are close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days that follow, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.
"The Perfect Mother" Reviews
Finally a thriller that really delivers! Stayed up until 2:00 last night finishing this, I just had to know how it ended. It’s amazing that this is a debut novel and that it has already been picked up to be made into a movie, what a wonderful accomplishment for Ms. Molloy.
This novel is told from multiple points of view and I did have a little trouble at times keeping track of who was talking but that was probably just because I was reading too fast! The author also used a technique that worked very well to ratchet up the tension, “someone” was writing about what she was feeling and going through” at the beginning of the chapters, but we don’t know who.
The story is about a handful of first time moms who meet in what they call their “May Mothers” group because they are all due in May. The main characters are Francie, Nell, Collette, Scarlet, Winnie and Token (a well chosen name as he is the token male in the group). They meet twice a week in a park with babies in strollers sharing joyful times, stories of exhaustion seeking advice and assurance from each other. Everything is going along well until, as the blurb will tell you, they decide to have a single night out and during that time one of the newborns is abducted from his home, with the babysitter asleep on the couch when the police arrive. To add to the frustration and anger of the mothers the police seem to make so many mistakes, letting people into the crime scene before taking photos, fingerprints, etc.
The crime becomes a media circus with a particular woman reporter who is out to find the “dirt” on any of the women, and that she does. All of these women are unique, all have secrets and I had absolutely no idea who the abducted baby Midas.
What really hit home for me is the fact that one of my daughters has a 2 and 4 year old and I can remember how flustered and upset she was with her first baby, particularly since she is in another state with no family close by. She turned to the internet which, in my opinion, just made things worse. Whatever worry or problem she had she seemed to be able to find some article that told her multiple ways of solving it. I think new mothers in today’s society are expected to be so much, the “perfect mother” doing everything right, the in-shape wife and most also have careers. I remember my pregnancies and early years with four daughters and I think things are worse now with too much information available on the internet. I remember I had two “baby books” both of which I ended up tossing!
The novel also hits upon sensationalism by the news media. We are all bombarded with it every time we turn on the TV, whether it is political or social, it always seems to be reported in a way that will get more viewers, no matter whom they hurt in the process or whose career they may destroy.
So this novel is a great thriller and a perfect analysis of our times. I would, however, not recommend this book to new mothers as this will just give them more to worry about!
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss, thank you.
A clever page-turner!
A mother’s group goes out for a fun get together at the local bar. Then one mom gets a call from the babysitter.
I used to be in a mommy group and we would meet every week to support each other (called Super Moms). This mommy group (May Mothers) is going through hell after one of the babies goes missing.
This book got me out of my reading slump. Perfectly paced with plenty of twists, it kept me engaged as the moms put on their detective hats (along with me).
I loved the camaraderie of the moms and could relate to the situations that new moms are often juggling. The ladies have a strong bond and are supportive of each other. They are also shrewd and had me tensing up at some of their antics.
A clever ending that surprised me. This would be a perfect summer/beach read.
This author's debut novel is a winner! This psychological thriller had me riveted to the story from the very first page.
They are called the May Mothers ... a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. They met on the internet when they were pregnant ... now that they have all delivered, they meet every week or so at the park. They share their baby stories, their birth stories. All except Token .. he's the one guy in the bunch .. a stay-at-home dad.
They decide that they all need a night out ... without the babies. Going to a local bar for some adult liquid, it's bound to be a fun break for all of them. But then a parent's worse nightmare... one of the babies is taken out of his crib, out of his home and no one knows where he is. The babysitter was sleeping, she never heard anyone enter or leave the apartment.
So who has baby boy Midas? His father who has never been a part of his life? The babysitter in the country illegally? The baby's mother who was having a hard time being a single mom? One of the other mothers ...or father? Or was this a random kidnapping?
They all have secrets ... lies that have been hidden for years. It becomes a heart-wrenching race to find the baby, exposing those secrets and lies to the light of day. An unexpected twist at the end had me forgetting to breathe.
There is a lot packed into this story. It's about friendships and love and frustrations and the wonder of newborn babies. Marriages are tested, some won't survive. Some friends will remain friends .. some will vanish like a puff of smoke. This is well written with standout characters.
Many thanks to the author / Plume - Penguin Books USA / Edelweiss for the advanced digital copy of his highly suspenseful Psychological Thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
Bad things happen in heat like this
The May Mothers. They are group of new moms that come together to swap tips, advice and support each other. They get together weekly in a group forum with their babies and talk. However sometimes Moms just want a fun night out...right? What could possibly go wrong...
The Mom's decide to go to a local bar for a fun night out. They encourage Winnie, a soft spoken mom, to come out and enjoy herself since she is a single mom and she needs it. Nell sets up a babysitter for Winnie so she can feel OK about leaving her baby for the night. As drinks start flowing, memories start to get fuzzy. Suddenly the receive a call from Alma, the babysitter hysterically crying that Midas, Winnie's baby, is missing. They all flee to Winnie's house where police are already going through the home. This is the start of the investigation and all the questions. What happened to the baby? Did someone break in? Who had a key to get in? Who was that guy hitting on Winnie at the bar? Why did Winnie leave the bar and where did she go?
We continue through the book the the May Mother's trying to figure out the crime. However, we also start to unravel secrets about the other ladies. Secrets in their marriages, secrets about their families and some very scandalous secrets about their pasts. Oh, it's good!
I read this book with so many questions going through my head. I pretty much flew through this because I wanted to find out what happened! I also have to mention that the twist at the end got me. The author, Aimee Molloy, wrote this in a way that I was convinced I knew what was going to happen but lo and behold it went a whole other way. I love it when that happens!
I recommend this to all your psychological thriller lovers. This book publishes on 5/1/18! Thank you to Harper Collins for my ARC on Edelweiss.
Now, this is how you do a psychological thriller!
I'm in awe that this wonderfully done novel was Molloy's debut! Hearing that this book has been picked up by Kerry Washington for a film that she will also be starring in was definitely a factor in me picking this up 4 months before pub date (along with that stunning cover). The plot intrigued me, a mommy group formed online meets at a bar for a night out and something goes horribly wrong. Color me intrigued. I thought I had this figured out so many times along the way, as my friend Shannon (https://www.goodreads.com/Shannon8412) can attest to! Man, I really love when I am wrong (only about books, though, #sorrynotsorry). I'm happy this was a buddy read for me as there were so many moments I was dying to discuss along the way.
Thank you to HarperCollins publishers for an advanced copy. All opinions are my own.
With the perfect combination of thrills and shrills; The Perfect Mother not only entertains, but also provokes societal norms that we as a society deal with on a daily basis. The story surrounds a group of mothers (and one father) who call themselves the May Mothers. The May Mothers are all first-time parents who have not only aligned together for comradery, but for validation as well. This group leans on each other for support and complimentary banter. The group mainly centers around Francie, Nell, Collette, Scarlet, Token, and Winnie. Each of these counterparts have different personalities and bring different perspectives to the group. As their routine begins to feel predictable and insipid, the group decides that they need a night out for themselves. The May Mothers decide that they will leave their children at home and spend the night out in celebration for the 4th of July. The group is having a great time and they are bonding over drinks. It isn't until the end of the night where one of the children has gone missing. This disappearance has not only gathered extensive media coverage, but also has inexplicably drawn the group into the cross hairs of this tragedy. As the group gets more infused into the subject matter at hand, they all begin to question everything. Does anyone have anything to hide and why was this child taken in the first place?
Without going any further into the plot, Aimee Molloy has pulled off a robust, magically written debut novel. I really enjoyed how The Perfect Mother not only successfully ropes you in with its sheer thrilling plot, but also shows you how society has "trained" parents (especially mothers) on how to be a "successful parent". There's so much pressure on parents and the who/what/where/when/why/how to properly raise your child. Throughout the story, we see how the May Mothers have to not only deal with a crisis, but also struggle with how to raise their children without damaging or ruining their pivotal first moments. The Perfect Mother keeps you on your toes so much, you'll even be questioning yourself. I was not only stumped by the ending, but pleasantly surprised.
The story starts off as a very strong action-packed joyride thriller that will definitely keep you interested in how the story develops. At around 60% into the story, I felt that I just kept waiting for something to happen and felt that I was begging for more information faster. That really could have just been my impatience with an amazingly written original story, but I felt like it would be fair to showcase what I absolutely loved about this story and my qualms with the story. Other than the unbalanced pacing at certain parts of the story, I really didn't have any other critiques that I feel need to be mentioned.
All in all, The Perfect Mother is not only a successful debut novel by an experienced and powerful writer, it is also thought provoking and impressive. The Perfect Mother will be released May 1, 2018. Thank you Harper Collins for my advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.