I could not put down The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy. As a result, I’m really tired and drinking more coffee than normal. But it was worth it, I had to know how it would end. And it definitely surprised me.
As I mentioned in the preview, there’s plenty of buzz with The Perfect Mother and it’s already been optioned for a movie.
When we meet the May Mothers, a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month, they’re looking for a night out. A small break from motherhood. But tragedy strikes when one of the babies, Midas, is taken from the crib that night. The story then evolves to psychological suspense as well as a mystery.
Something that makes this one stand apart is the focus on the pressures of modern-day and first-time mothers. As three women of the group are obsessed with finding Midas, we’re also getting to know their own struggles. Everyone has their own secrets and it slowly comes to the forefront.
The story starts with a first-person narrative. That perspective appears a few more times through the book, trying to give hints of who took the baby and what really happened. There’s also third-person point of views from the other mothers: Francie, the most obsessive with finding Midas, Colette, who’s ghostwriting a book for the mayor but it isn’t going well and Nell, a Brit that we slowly learn has a dark past.
We learn about Midas’ mom, Winnie, through the media, police investigation and the May Mothers. While Winnie seemed like a single-mom without many resources, in reality, she was a fairly famous TV actress when she was a teenager. The fact that Winnie kept this a secret and her behavior afterward Midas is taken, makes her a suspect to some. But the three women, for the most part, are steadfast that she had nothing to do with the kidnapping.
A key theme is focused on the joys and the struggles of motherhood. It’s safe to say, everyone now a days is under plenty of pressure but especially mothers. It’s all about the perfect birth, breastfeeding success and losing baby weight right after the birth. But in reality, there’s economic issues as well as battling postpartum depression that many deal with. So, while the kidnapping has impacted the three women, we also learn about their own struggles they’re undergoing. Each are different but all rang true in some form or another.
I think new mothers will relate to certain areas of this book. However, the kidnapping and the climax might bring a sleepless night. Just be aware that while there’s plenty of focus on taking care of your child, the story is still about a kidnapping.
How twisty is it?
Okay, so I thought I had it figured out. Once reason I stayed up so late was because I thought I already know where this is going so might as well finish it. Uh, no. I was pretty surprised and it’s an interesting story choice. Part of me is curious to read certain passages to find out if I missed something. There are multiple reveals that take place. I’d love to talk more about it but I’m keeping this spoiler-free. So check out my book club questions for a spoiler discussion.
The Perfect Mother is a page-turner.
If you’re looking for a beach read in the thriller genre, this fits the bill.