Sunday, June 24, 2018

Bookish Thoughts: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

Joshua. ~ Opening of The Perfect Mother 


The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Harper, 2018
Crime Fiction/Thriller; 336 pgs

I am on a roll reading good thrillers as of late. The Perfect Mother was no exception. The May Mothers are a group of mothers with children born in May who met online and decided to create an in-person group, meeting at a local park twice a week. Winnie reluctantly joined, never quite feeling like she belonged, but not quite wanting to stop attending either. At one meeting, the women decide to plan a night out at a bar, no children allowed. Winnie is not sure she wants to go, but the other women, especially Nell, put the pressure on, even arranging for her to have a babysitter, and so she goes. That one night out, the first evening away from their babies, and Midas, Winnie’s son, goes missing.

While the media has a field day with Winnie’s true identity and accusing the police of botching up the investigation fright from the start, several of the May mothers decide to take matters into their own hands and show their support to Winnie by finding out who kidnapped Midas.

The novel jumps from several different characters, offering a more rounded glimpse of the events that have taken place, both past and present. No one is without their secrets and faults, as we soon learn. I really enjoyed the views into these other women’s lives. The author has a real gift for drawing out each of her character’s feelings and anxieties. I found them all easy to relate to. Each of these women strive to be the perfect mother but fall short—because there is no such thing.

In today’s society, the media plays a large role in how we interpret and shape our opinions. This isn’t the first novel to point this out through the events that occur in the book, but Molloy does it in such a way bring it into full focus. None of the main characters is exempt from the media’s attention. To keep ratings up, the media looks for scandal in every nook and cranny, and the public eats it up, completing the cycle. One particular media celebrity seems to want to pass judgement on everyone related to the kidnapping case, even maligning the women for going out for an evening without their infants. It was appalling how many people jumped on that bandwagon. From the sensationalism to the mob mentality. We see and hear it every day in one form or another.

It is always hard to talk about the one thing I did not care for in a novel when it involves the resolution. Let’s just say there wasn’t much guesswork for me with this one, which was a tad disappointing. Things fall a little too perfectly into place in the end, and I felt like there should have been more development in that direction early on. At the same time, I still really enjoyed the novel and would definitely read more by Aimee Molloy.

For more information about the author and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Twitter and Goodreads.



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30 comments:

  1. I've this book in my TBR pile. I'll probably dive into this after I've finished off my library copies, which is quite a pile, hehe. Thanks for your great review, Wendy!

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    1. Melody - I hope you enjoy The Perfect Mother when you get to it.

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  2. It's hard sometimes when it's like that with the "resolution" in this genre. It does still sound really good though.

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    1. Christy - I enjoyed it over all even so. :-)

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  3. Ahhh, this book! Been looking forward to it for ages and am loving the good reviews it's been getting!

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    1. Verushka - I hope you like it when you get to it!

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  4. Quite frightening just how much a part the media, from everything from newspapers to social media, play in our lives. That trial by media is becoming increasingly the order of the day.

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    1. Tracy - It does seem like trial by media is too often the case. Even before all the information is out there.

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  5. I want to read this one, though I will say that I pay attention to news and the media less and less these days. It's a constant barrage of 'whatever' they deem I should be upset about. Doesn't matter which end of the spectrum. So, I hide in books. OK, may I also say that I'm kind of stuck on the fact that the baby's name is Midas - seriously? Ha! I'll keep in mind that's it's not difficult to sleuth it out. ;-)

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    1. Kay - Midas is pretty tame compared to some of the names I come across in real life. :-) The news does seem to be more about bringing in the ratings, which often means sensationalizing everything. And the public eats it up. It's just as much our fault.

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  6. I'm interested in this one, but it does sound close enough to real life to be unsettling. There is no privacy any longer, and it is frightening the damage that the media can inflict when digging into every facet of a person's life.

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    1. Jenclair - Yes, it is frightening how much damage can be caused. The innocent are dragged through the mud without a second thought.

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  7. I'm looking forward to reading this one because I've been tracking the positive reviews on it. I'll be curious to what part the media plays in it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  8. I have this one on my library holds list and am really looking forward to it! Great review!

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  9. I got this one from the Book of the Month club recently and I can't wait to start it!

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  10. I probably wouldn't be smart enough to guess the ending. This sounds good to me.

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    1. Kathy - I hope you like it if you do try it! (And I don't think it's about being smart--it's just the way my brain works).

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  11. Hmm...might have to add this one to my list. I like the idea of the other mothers stepping up to help find Winnie's son.

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    1. Lark - I liked that they did that too. Too often the mothers in these stories end up working against each other.

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  12. Oooh, this sounds good! I'm always interested in seeing how the media affects cases - will definitely be putting this on my TBR! Thanks for the review, Wendy!

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    1. Eustacia - I hope you like this one if you give it a try!

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  13. I posted my review recently too and for me, this is one of those times where you separate the writing from the entertainment value. Was I entertained? Absolutely. Did I turn those pages quickly? Yes, yes, yes. But was the writing pretty solid with a clear plot points, etc.? No. But again, not a perfect book but still fun to read. I felt like the author does not like mommy groups because she made them look pretty foolish.

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  14. My library just got this one on audio so I'm really pleased to see that you enjoyed it despite the too obvious ending. I've read a thriller that involved a blogger and I really liked how social media was used in that one so I'm excited to see how it is used here.

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    1. Katherine - It is interesting to see how social media is used in novels like this. I hope you enjoy this one!

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  15. Sounds like just the kind of book I like to have on hand for when I'm in a reading slump.

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    1. Lisa - These types of books do tend to help pull me back into reading too, when I'm slumping.

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