Book Title: The Perfect Mother
Author: Aimee Molloy
REVIEWED BY: DENNIS
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Crime Fiction
Pub Date: 05/01/18
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.
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.