Title: The Perfect Mother
Author: Aimee Molloy
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Release Date: May 1st, 2018
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible (affiliate link)
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.
I won a review copy of this book in a GoodReads giveaway and I’m so glad I did! I was really excited when I heard about this book for two reasons: First, because it is being made into a movie starring Kerry Washington, who I absolutely loved in the TV series Scandal. And second, because I can so easily relate to the main characters in the story. When I first found out I was pregnant with my firstborn, I joined an online message forum for expecting mothers and formed a close friendship with some of the other members who were due in the same month as me, just like the “May Mothers” in this book. Aimee Molloy’s portrayal of the May Mothers’ friendship was everything I hoped for and more. She perfectly captured the uncertainty and camaraderie felt between new mothers in a group like this, along with the scrutiny and intense pressure that is put on modern parents to live up to society’s expectations of “perfection”.
The narrative switches back and forth between 1st person perspective (from the kidnapper’s perspective, who’s identity isn’t revealed until the end) and 3rd person perspective (from several of the May Mother’s perspectives). Right from the beginning, the suspense is palpable. A missing child, especially a newborn, is every parent’s worst nightmare and Aimee Molloy builds on that fear to create a very intense storyline. I just HAD to know what happened, and stayed on the edge of my seat until the final reveal. This is one of those books that you will want to devour in one quick sitting!
On the negative side, the May Mothers are all very similar – they’re all first time moms, relatively the same age, straight, married, etc. It’s hard to keep them separate and a couple times I even had to go back and double check who’s perspective I was reading from. However, despite that, it was a really enjoyable and suspenseful read, which I would recommend to anyone looking for a fast-paced thriller.
And I would like to take a moment to point out just how GORGEOUS the front cover is!
Rating: 4/5 stars
AIMEE MOLLOY is the author of the New York Timesbestseller However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph and the co-author of several non-fiction books, including Jantsen’s Gift, with Pam Cope. The Perfect Mother is her first novel.
Author Link: http://aimeemolloy.com