From the publisher:
THE MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK 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.
A night out. A few hours of fun. That’s all it was meant to be.
They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.
When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.
This is one of the latest psychological thrillers with an unreliable narrator; in this case, there are several. Plus there’s a missing baby and the setting is Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and my son lives right near there and spends many weekends in that park. So I was hooked.
But….I had a hard time following all the characters and I found it very slow. I know I’m in trouble with a book when I keep putting it down and looking for something else to read. It took me a week to read this, and I read 5 or 6 other books during that time. I was determined to finish it – Kerry Washington, after all, and Brooklyn, and a missing baby for heaven’s sake. But no, this was just not my favorite.
Any time there is a baby missing, that automatically ups the suspense, at least for me. But here it didn’t work, it just got lost (no pun intended!) as the story wanders off too many times. I much prefer a tighter book. There is a trope with these kinds of thrillers where the main incident is brought back time after time with a bit more information given after each revisit, and I have seen that done to great effect many times. Here, it just felt slow and repetitive. I also didn’t understand why each chapter started with an email of parenting tips; I found it distracting (was that why?) and ultimately pointless.
All in all, not a great read for me. But if you like mommy books like those from Liane Moriarty (which I loved), or unreliable narrators, The Perfect Mother may be the perfect book for you.
5/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
THE PERFECT MOTHER by Aimee Molloy. William Morrow; 1st Edition edition (January 2, 2018). ISBN 978-0062678416. 448p.