REVIEW: THE PERFECT MOTHER, BY AIMEE MOLLOY

 

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. 

My Thoughts: The Perfect Mother is narrated by multiple characters, and begins in the first person voice of one of them. She seems to be anonymous, and throughout the story, I thought I knew who she was. But only in the final moments is her identity known.

To say that first-time mothers are often insecure, not knowing the right way to do the various tasks connected to being the “perfect” mother, would be an understatement. Finding the May Mothers group seemed a great way to form their own community to support them and enhance their knowledge.

What each of them brings to the group is her best face, hiding the various secrets in the past.

So when baby Midas goes missing after the mothers take a night out at a local bar, it is only a matter of time until these secrets begin to surface.

Winnie has a glamorous past, so hiding her background makes her seem standoffish…until the truth comes out. But then the media makes so much of it all, turning her into someone who might do something terrible, like hurt her own baby.

The others have faith in her, not believing that she could harm her baby, and they all offer their thoughts to the police when interviewed. Some of them, like Francie, go above and beyond to persuade the police to look elsewhere…until they brush her aside, annoyed with her behavior.

Numerous possibilities are considered, and while the search continues, the other mothers deal with their own lives and their challenges. Francie is struggling from sleep deprivation and also from her obsessive need to help with the search. Collette is ghost-writing a book for the mayor, but finds that he is often unavailable for meetings, so her work is less than stellar. Nell seems to have a lot more to hide, and as her secrets come out, the media attention flickers from Winnie and Midas to her.

I was totally blindsided by what had actually happened, and who was behind everything. As I rapidly turned the pages, I felt breathless from the intensity of it all. A page turner! 5 stars.

***
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