Book Review: The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy

“How fast the time goes. That’s what people were always telling us, at least; the strangers’ hands on our bellies, saying how careful we must be to enjoy the time. How it’ll all be over in a blink of an eye. How before we know it, they’ll be walking, talking, leaving us.”

― Aimee Molloy, The Perfect Mother 

A group of women's lives suddenly become entangled in this gripping psychological thriller when one of their infants goes missing.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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 reaction to this novel...

I've had this book for a very long time, but I'm just now able to read it. Despite not knowing the author, I chose to purchase it because of the book's attractive cover. The fact that it discusses moms piqued my curiosity because that is one of my favorite reading subjects. The narrative is set in New York during a regular gathering of moms in a park. As all of their babies are anticipated to be born in May, they refer to themselves as the May Mothers. This get-together's concept appeals to me much because I believe that pregnant women, especially those expecting their first child, should feel supported. This notion in the novel, I believe, should be implemented in every town in real life because it is rather challenging to be a first-time parent because of the numerous unknown problems one might experience.

Every time I read the introduction to a chapter in the book as I was reading it, I was impressed since the author included some advice on how to take care of newborns before moving on to the tale. It seemed similar to getting parenting advice via email. That bit is great. The story's conclusion was also rather exciting, so I was anxious to complete it right away since I was anticipating the outcome. Despite the women's numbers and disparities, I was able to get to know them. However, there are also moments when it is unclear who is speaking or whose perspective is being described.

Halfway through the narrative, I started to get quite bored and perplexed. There are chapters that are told from someone's point of view, but I couldn't tell if it was Winnie's. The tale grew hazy to me at that moment. Additionally, the author included several elements that I feel are unnecessary or would be better off being left out because they don't make sense. Because the plot began to make little to no sense to me and the story I was anticipating was totally different from what was happening, I was eager to end it as soon as possible. Since the story began off nicely before getting muddled and repetitive, I must admit that it did frustrate me. It's difficult to distinguish between the characters, and the ending felt abrupt and entirely illogical. Putting in so much reading time just to be so perplexed is difficult. There is not enough character delineation and there is too much going on. I also didn't appreciate the author's use of the name of Jesus in profanity either; it is outright blasphemy. 

After reading positive reviews of this book, I was ultimately really disappointed since I was very certain that I did not share their sentiments. It simply made me frustrated and baffled, and it made me feel like I should read other novels instead of this one. However, I've already done it, and even if it didn't come out well, it was still an enjoyable experience. Simply said, it isn't that fantastic in my opinion, thus I'm not sure whether I will suggest it. Perhaps it would be best not to raise expectations if someone were to read this and begin to inquire so as to prevent them from being overly frustrated.

My Overall Rating: ⭐✨(1.5/5)

Where to buy this book?


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.