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
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As soon as I read the description for “The Perfect Mother” I immediately added it to my list of Most Anticipated Reads for 2018. The fact that it was already in production to be made into a major motion picture added to my intrigue. I couldn’t wait to read it.
The May Mothers are a group of mothers who gave birth in the same month. They joined the group online and eventually met in person. They met a couple of times a week and shared what was happening in their lives and with their babies. The group changed a lot, people came and went… but a small group of women stuck it out and continued to meet up often.
Then one night someone suggests that they get together for a Mommy only night out at a local bar. It would be a nice break from their daily routine.
“This will be great. A few hours out. A slice of freedom. Nothing we’ll regret. Just one drink.”
One mother was very hesitant about leaving her baby, but the other mothers insist that she come. They tell her everything will be fine.
But they were wrong….and now a baby is missing.
“bad things happen in heat like this”
Right away the police are involved and social media goes crazy as videos and photos from the night in question are released. Lives are turned upside down, judgments are made, and it seems everyone has something to hide. Is anyone who they claim to be?
Will a group of three determined mothers be able to help reunite mother and child?
I really enjoyed this interesting and unique story about motherhood, betrayals, secrets, and lies.
The author included “Today’s Advice” at the start of each chapter; a blurb with advice or information about the stages of emotional, social, or physical development. The kind of advice that seems helpful but can also make a new mother crazy at times, wondering if their baby is developing at the “right” pace. Of course, everyone wants to be “ The Perfect Mother ”. A lot of what the characters were going through was very relevant. How it sometimes feels like everyone knows where they are doing except for you.
The story was gripping. I did figure out one of the twists early on, but it didn’t bother me as I was really into each characters story-line as well as the mystery of the missing baby. There were a couple of times that I lost track of who was who but overall I was able to keep things straight.
All in all, I thought this was a very satisfying domestic suspense novel with excellent characters and a great plot that had me flipping pages at a rapid pace from start to finish.
I’m excited to see what Aimee Molloy comes up with next.
I'd like to thank HarperCollins for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is a psychological thriller that easily will have readers on the edge of their seat as the story involves a missing infant. This one is told from multiple points of view including an unknown voice involved in the story.
Several women have formed a group that they are calling the May Mothers after the fact that they all met because they were all due to have their babies that May. After the births the ladies would get together to share stories of their children and various parenting tips to try to help each other along the way.
On the Fourth of July the May Mothers organized a girls night out insisting that they all needed a break away from the babies just for a few hours. Nothing would happen they said. Everything will be fine they said. Of course things did not turn out fine when one of the mothers returns to find her baby has been kidnapped.
As a reader I've often said there is nothing more intense than that of a missing child so when I saw this one I knew I should be in for an exciting ride. And to hear that the book has already had offers of a movie deal with a big name actress even before it's published, sign me up please.
Just as I had expected the story is one that is easy to get lost in as you read and the only reason I found myself not giving five stars really was a few times during the book I'd lose track a bit of the point of view. It actually was done pretty well though so I wouldn't let the multiple points of view scare anyone away. I also had a slight idea of the outcome fairly early on but never figured the actual who/how it all came about. But when it was all said and done I do think readers are really going to enjoy this one and can't wait to see how the movie turns out.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
3 Stars! I wish I would have loved this one a little more!
This book was chosen to read as a Traveling Sisters Group Read and what originally attracted me to this book was the title and the cover - which is pretty much how I choose all my books to read!
THE PERFECT MOTHER by AIMEE MOLLOY is a steady-paced, insightful, character-driven, and a twisty psychological domestic thriller that is filled with interesting characters that I really appreciated. The voices and dynamics of these women really rang true to me! At times I did find it hard to keep the characters straight and I had a hard time focusing on this story. Unfortunately, this did affect my enjoyment for the story and therefore lowered my overall rating.
AIMEE MOLLOY delivers a well-written read here with an interesting and unique storyline told from multiple perspectives which focuses mainly on a group of women who stop at nothing as they come together to investigate the disappearance of Baby Midas. The portrayal of these women and their angst was portrayed extremely well.
Overall, it was a mostly enjoyable, quick and easy read with an ending the totally took me by surprise. Would recommend!
Thank you so much to Edelweiss, Aimee Molloy, and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Review written and posted on our themed book blog:
Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading
"This will be great. A few hours out. A slice of freedom...Nothing we'll regret. Just one drink."
This story had me reading through the night. It was full of twists & turns and secrets & lies. Trying to unravel it all was difficult because the story is told via various (unreliable) points of view. At times it was difficult to tell where 1 character's thoughts began and another's ended. Things jumped from person to person but honestly, I felt that it added to the overall frantic pacing of the book.
The plot centers around a group of new mothers who form a friendship over the internet to share the joys & pressures of motherhood - the May Mothers. They decide to have a "Mom's Night Out" only to endure a mother's worst nightmare - one of the babies, Midas, goes missing.
One of the things I really enjoyed was the frank portrayal of motherhood. The sleepless nights, the uncertainty, the love, the hormones and the pressure to be the perfect mother. I also enjoyed the camaraderie between these group of women. It was portrayed realistically - the desire to fit in, the need to be accepted, wanting to have someone who gets it but also fearing being judged. These are all real emotions many new moms have & face in today's society with so much emphasis being placed on being the "perfect mother".
Molloy did a wonderful job layering this story. Everyone had secrets, told lies and added to the twists. I had suspicions about who was responsible but I hadn't figured it all out which I enjoyed. Overall, this was a suspenseful read that grabbed my attention from page 1 and kept it throughout.
In Brooklyn, a group of mothers to-be, all due in the month of May, coined “The May Mothers” start a meet-up, sharing stories and bonding over impending motherhood.
Being the perfect mother seems unattainable and yet these mothers strive for it. Receiving monthly emails about what to expect each month, exchanging messages with helpful suggestions, gaining support from each other whenever the need arises.
After their babies are a few months old, their bond deepens unexpectedly. Frannie, Nell, Colette, Winnie & Token decide to take a “night off.” What starts out as an innocent night having drinks at a pub, ends with a bang when Winnie’s son, Midas, goes missing, disappearing from their home without a trace.
Thereafter, the May Mothers come together, investigating. What happened that night, in addition to investigating each other. They can’t help it. They don’t really know each other that well, and yet, they desperately want to trust each other. Yet, can they? Should they?
“The Perfect Mother” is told from several different perspectives, some of which are confusing at first. Though it starts off a little slow, the novel picks up at the mid-way point and takes off so quickly that I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough. The ending was quite the shocker - which frankly, I’m still not sure I get. I’m hoping it’ll come to me one of these days! “The Perfect Mother” is a slow burn, character driven suspense novel that definitely kept my interest. It was my book of the month pick and was a great choice.
This was a traveling sister read - our discussions were lots of fun. Thanks sisters! For full Traveling Sister group reviews, please see Brenda an Norma’s Blog: https://twosisterslostinacoulee.com
Published on Goodreads.
I enjoyed this quite a lot.
The Perfect Mother definitely has something of a Moriarty vibe (Liane, not Jim) but I personally found it better paced. I struggled with the slowness and tame domesticity of Moriarty's The Husband's Secret and Truly Madly Guilty, though I enjoyed the HBO adaptation of Big Little Lies. I would say that this book is more like the latter. It's predominantly about women and the relationships between them, with the thriller aspect of a missing baby providing the stage on which these complex friendships and loyalties play out.
Molloy splits the narrative in an interesting way. The "present" of the story contains short, hard-hitting chapters that briefly reflect on the events leading up to that moment, and then the book moves to the past and explores what happens when an infant goes missing while his mother - Winnie - is getting a much-needed night out with other members of her "mommy group".
This colourful group of women drive the story, which is largely about the pressures put on mothers to be "perfect". As the case plays out, we see news articles and talk shows questioning Winnie's behaviour: how could she go out drinking while her poor baby was being kidnapped? Her friends from her group are also forced to question how much they really know Winnie, and each other.
Molloy captures what it is like to drive yourself a little crazy trying to be that elusive "perfect mother" and shows the dark events that can unfold in the wake of such impossible aspirations. Ultimately, though, there is something very uplifting about this group of mothers banding together and putting aside their doubts to help one of their own. These women - each from different backgrounds with very different financial situations - put strains on their relationships and careers to help find Winnie's baby.
The Perfect Mother is being called a "thriller", which I suppose technically it is, but it is far more a tale of motherhood and female friendship in all their beautiful, vicious glory.
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