Vanity Fair calls it one of the most anticipated books 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.
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
“Bad things happen in heat like this.”
Book of the Month always finds a way to get the mysterious books that have some odd twists. It’s reminiscent of The Wife Between Us for me, and this is definitely a book for the women who are fans of Lifetime movies. While it’s a great book, the twist in the end was totally Lifetime for me, but I still loved every second of it.
The book follows the women of the May Mothers, the mommy group who all had their babies in May. Winnie’s baby Midas is stolen from his crib when the May Mothers are out at a bar for the 4th of July, and the rest of the story mainly follows Nell, Collette, and Francie as their navigate the mystery of where Midas is while handling their own guilt, personal lives and fears of what would happen if their own babies went missing.
While I am not yet a mother, I can picture this book resonating with mothers, as it goes through controversial topics such as abortion and mommy responsibility. News stations shame Winnie and the mommy group for going to a bar, raising the questions of how a mom keeps her own identity while still being responsible for their children. Certain parts for me are left unanswered, such as the fixing of Francie and Nell’s relationships that seem strained at times, or if Poppy has a condition causing her developmental delay.
For me, the twist was a bit cheesy, but like I said, for a ChickLit style, it was also entertaining and interesting until the very end. I never wanted to stop reading, even if parts seemed more unrealistic. One thing I would have loved to see more would be Winnie’s personal life. We are left to not know anything about her through most of the book because we don’t know if she’s guilty or innocent, but it definitely is hard at times when you don’t know her at all.
Overall, I think The Perfect Mother was a great read for anyone who’s into dramatic Lifetime movies, and I actually don’t think you would predict the twist and turns at the end of the novel.
My Rating: 6.5/10