THE VINEYARD AT PAINTED MOON by Susan Mallery

March 4, 2021

THE VINEYARD AT PAINTED MOON by Susan Mallery. HQN; Original edition (February 9, 2021). ISBN: 978-1335912794. 400 pages.

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THE COOKBOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison

January 7, 2021

THE COOKBOOK CLUB by Beth Harbison. William Morrow Paperbacks (October 20, 2020). ISBN 978-0062958624. 384 pages.

Kindle (As of this writing, the Kindle version is on sale for $2.99!)

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THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain

January 5, 2021

From the publisher:

A tense, page-turning psychological drama about the making and breaking of a family, told through the eyes of a woman whose experience of motherhood is nothing at all what she hoped for–and everything she feared.

Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, supportive mother she never had to her new baby Violet.

But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe doesn’t find the connection with her daughter she expected. She’s convinced that something is wrong with Violet–the little girl is distant, rejects affection, and becomes increasingly disruptive at preschool.

Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she is imagining things. Fox doesn’t see what Blythe sees; he sees a wife who is struggling to cope with the day-to-day challenges of being a mother. And the more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity…

Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the natural maternal connection she’d always dreamed of. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth about herself, her past, and her daughter.

The Push is a rare and extraordinary gift to readers: a novel about the expectations of motherhood we’re taught not to challenge and what really happens behind the closed doors of even the most perfect-looking families. It’s impossible to put down and impossible to forget.


Three generations of women have difficulties with motherhood and their stories intertwine in this very dark debut novel.

Blythe’s mother, Cecelia, left when she was eleven years old, and Blythe assumes she probably shouldn’t have children as her mother was not a very good role model. But their toxic relationship pales in comparison with Cecelia’s relationship with her mother, Etta.

There is an air of foreboding as Blythe’s story continues when Fox, Blythe’s gentle husband of three years, convinces her that it is time to have a baby. Blythe sees other mothers with their babies and hopes that she, too, will be like them. But Blythe never feels any kind of connection to her baby daughter, Violet, although Fox is immediately enamored.

As Blythe sinks into depression, Fox is convinced that she just doesn’t love the baby enough. There are some behavioral issues that Blythe sees in Violet that increase as she starts school, but Fox always turns a blind eye. Then Blythe has a son, Sam, and her maternal feelings for him are real and deep. Things still aren’t good with Violet, though, or with the marriage, and everything spirals out of control when tragedy strikes the family.

The marriage implodes and Blythe is having serious difficulties. This is not your typical tale of motherhood by any means, and the superlative writing makes this a gripping, unforgettable story indeed.

Verdict: For readers who enjoyed the darkness of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh, or Jack of Spades by Joyce Carol Oates.

©Library Journal, 2021

1/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain. Viking (January 5, 2021). ISBN 978-0735239890. 320p.

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COBBLE HILL by Cecily von Ziegesar

October 20, 2020

10/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

COBBLE HILL by Cecily von Ziegesar. Atria Books (October 20, 2020). ISBN 978-1982147037. 320p.

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THREE SINGLE WIVES by Gina LaManna

September 3, 2020

9/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THREE SINGLE WIVES by Gina LaManna. Henry Holt and Co. (July 28, 2020). ISBN 978-1250266491. 352p.

Kindle

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THE FRIENDSHIP LIST by Susan Mallery

August 9, 2020

THE FRIENDSHIP LIST by Susan Mallery. HQN; Original edition (August 4, 2020). ISBN 978-1335136961. 384 pages.

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MUSICAL CHAIRS by Amy Poeppel

July 30, 2020

7/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

MUSICAL CHAIRS by Amy Poeppel. Atria/Emily Bestler Books (July 21, 2020). ISBN 978-1501176418. 416p.

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THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs

July 29, 2020

7/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LOST AND FOUND BOOKSHOP by Susan Wiggs. William Morrow (July 7, 2020). ISBN 978-0062914095. 368p.

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THE LENDING LIBRARY by Aliza Fogelson

July 2, 2020

4/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE LENDING LIBRARY by Aliza Fogelson. William Morrow (April 28, 2020). ISBN 978-0062909046. 304p.

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28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand

June 27, 2020

6/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

28 SUMMERS by Elin Hilderbrand. Little, Brown and Company (June 16, 2020). ISBN 978-0316420044. 432 pages.

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