Author Talk: The Push

THE PUSH follows Blythe Connor, a woman whose traumatic upbringing has left her uneasy about parenthood, and eager not to repeat the mistakes of the past. Blythe is determined to be the warm,  comforting mother that she herself never had, but all her worries come to the surface when her daughter  Violet is born. She can’t let go of a disturbing, nagging thought: Violet is not like other children. She’s distant, stubborn, antisocial, angry. She might even be dangerous. Bad things happen around her, and it can’t all be in Blythe’s imagination. But the more Blythe tries to love and understand her daughter (and make excuses for her unusual behavior), the more she gets pushed away. Blythe’s husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. He refuses to see what is increasingly clear to Blythe, and the conflict cracks their marriage open, revealing what the stresses of parenthood can do to a partnership.  As Fox dismisses her concerns, Blythe—isolated and ignored—begins to question her own perceptions, and even her sanity. But when her worst nightmare becomes reality, and everything she fears about Violet crystallizes into one tragic moment, she must reckon with the repercussions – and with the unsettling notion that she may have been right all along.  

Ashley Audrain previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada.  Prior to Penguin, she worked in public relations. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children. The Push is her first novel.