The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy, 4 Stars

It’s officially summer y’all! And it certainly feels like it. I may not love me some 100 degree weather this early in the season though. I mean, it was snowing a month ago! Okay, I’m officially the worst. I talk about weather all the time. Who needs a weather app when you can just visit my blog and find out how it’s looking in the Chicagoland area?

But people have been abuzzing about The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy so I had to check it out. There’s already a movie in the works starring Kerrie Washington (hello, Olive Pope!) The movie will also be directed by Amy Pascal, who is an amazing director who modernized Spiderman and James Bond (according to an EW article here). So of course the movie will be amazing!

And The Perfect Mother is shaping up to be a good beach read this summer. It’s got suspense, it’s got relatable characters (for the most part, although the members of the May Mother’s Club are kind of NYC elite), and it’s got mommy guilt and social media pressure that we all see just about everyday!

A side note I think is so cool…this is Aimee Molloy’s first novel, but she is a successful ghostwriter. So it’s kind of fun because in the book, Collette is also a ghost writer who dreams of writing her own book. IDK, I just kind of felt inspired by that tidbit.

On to the review…

From the Publisher:

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.

My Review:

Ah, new motherhood. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. It’s a magical time where a new mom bonds with this incredible creature she has produced, but it’s also a time of constant feeding, dirty diapers and little sleep. It’s a time of adorable baby giggles and almost daily milestones, and its a time of cursing every time the new mom tries to fit into her old jeans.

As I read the book,  I was transported back to when I was a new mom, bringing up all the memories mentioned above. I enjoyed the shifting perspectives, between all the members of the May Mother’s group as well as the perspective of a super sketchy character who from the first time they appear in the book, the reader suspects of something sinister.

The book also really rang true on how we all bash each other so much on social media. It’s completely ridiculous. I remember when that poor boy was dragged underwater at a Disney resort. People were so merciless online. I’m sure what the poor family needed in that moment and the days and weeks following was to be shamed and insulted by thousands of strangers.

But I digress. The Perfect Mother was engaging, the interpersonal aspects of the story felt genuine, and I read it in just a couple of sittings. One thing that was frustrating for me was keeping all the characters straight. On one hand, I enjoyed the shifting perspectives. On the other, it confused me a bit. I also wasn’t completely onboard with the end of the who-dunnit (or main) story line. But ultimately, I think a lot of people will love this book.

And now you know you have to read it before you see the movie! So better grab your copy to read at the beach or poolside.

Get your copy:

Indiebound

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