Still Reeling After Reading Ashley Audrain's The Push? Here Are 15 Books to Read Next
It's not often that you open a book and are drawn in so completely, so quickly, that you don't even notice the hours slipping by. Suddenly, it's all you can do to get back to the book. It sounds dramatic, but that's exactly how I felt when reading The Push by Ashley Audrain.
The Push is about Blythe Connor, who wants to be a good mom to her daughter, Violet, despite her less-than-stellar example from her own mom. But motherhood is exhausting, especially when you are still in the newborn stage, and Blythe can't figure out if there's something wrong with her or if she's just imagining it like her husband, Fox, says. Blythe struggles with her own sanity — and readers fight through their own thoughts on the truth Blythe tells us. When Sam is born, everyone is happy for a while until something changes their lives in an instant, forcing Blythe to face the truth.
You'll want to read this book without stopping, but be prepared to feel a dizzy, emotional book hangover when it ends. To help combat that, read one of these other amazing psychological thrillers in the slides ahead.
The Good Sister
How do you know who the good sister is when you can't trust anybody? Sally Hepworth's latest, The Good Sister, features the dual perspectives of twin sisters Fern and Rose. Fern works in the local library, avoiding crowds, sticking to her routine, and having dinner with Rose three nights a week. But when Rose discovers that she can't get pregnant, Fern sees this as a chance to pay her sister back for everything she's done for her — she just needs to find a man so she can have a baby for Rose. But when dark secrets from the past are brought to the surface, you'll soon discover some things are not always what they seem in this suspenseful tale.
Mother May I
How far will a mother go to protect her child and the life she loves? Find out in Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson, a book about Bree Cabbat, who built a successful life despite being warned the world was a scary place. One morning, she wakes up to see an old woman dressed in black peering through her bedroom window, then later sees her again at her daughters' school, just minutes before her infant son vanishes from his car seat. A note is left in his place, warning her to follow the instructions to get her baby back. When she finally meets the mysterious woman, she discovers she's a mother, too — who has one critical action Bree must take to get her child back. This chilling tale will cut you right to the core.
The Lying Game
Four women used to be best friends when they all attended Salten, and they were notorious for their Lying Game, filled with lies of varying states of seriousness that were often disturbing and mean. But this game had consequences, and the girls were all expelled in their final year due to mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of the school's art teacher, Ambrose, who is Kate's father. Far in the future, Kate texts Fatima, Thea, and Isabel, summoning them to help her. No one can refuse, despite the disastrous and suspenseful consequences that follow. Ruth Ware is a master of unexpected intrigue and shocking events, and The Lying Game is no different!
And Now She's Gone
Grayson Sykes is searching for Isabel Lincoln — she disappeared, and Grayson's not quite sure if she wants to be found. But as she uncovers complicated and dangerous secrets about Isabel, Grayson is also fighting with demons of her own: she drinks too much, works too much, and is constantly looking over her shoulder for her abusive husband. There are many similarities between the two women, who will do whatever it takes to survive. And Now She's Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall is a fast-paced read full of suspense and plenty of surprises.
To Tell You the Truth
Gilly Macmillan's latest, To Tell You the Truth, follows the story of Lucy Harper, whose talent for writing bestselling novels has given her fame, fortune, and millions of fans. But her husband, Dan, is jealous since his writing career is going nowhere, so when he suddenly disappears, all eyes are on Lucy. Especially because 30 years ago, her little brother, Teddy, also went missing and was never found. Lucy was his only witness, but she spun fantasy after fantasy about it, never revealing the truth. Now, she decides to tell the truth, no matter what happens, and it's sure to be a wild ride!
My Sister, the Serial Killer
Despite its dark themes, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is a comic novel that will make you alternatively laugh out loud and cringe. When Korede's dinner is interrupted by a distress call by her sister, Ayoola, she knows to bring her bleach, rubber gloves, and nerves of steel to help out. This is Ayoola's third boyfriend she's killed in what she says is self-defense, and Korede helps her every time. She loves her sister and refuses to take these crimes to the police, until Ayoola starts dating the doctor whom Korede works with as a nurse. Korede has been in love with him forever, and she doesn't want to find him dead one day, so she must decide where her loyalty lies in this suspenseful tale.
The Perfect Mother
A group of moms go out for drinks at a neighborhood bar on Fourth of July, but it ends in disaster: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Single mom Winnie didn't want to leave her 6-week-old son with a babysitter until the May Mothers group convinced her it would be OK. Now she is on the hunt for her son, Midas, as secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed in The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy.
Miracle Creek is set in a small town in Virginia, where a special treatment center that cures a wide range of conditions explodes, leaving two people dead. It's clear the explosion wasn't an accident, but who caused it? Angie Kim's story shows the viewpoints of various characters, who are keeping secrets and hiding betrayals. This murder mystery is a compulsive read that you won't want to put down!
Good Me Bad Me
Ali Land tells a dark psychological story about Milly and her mother, a serial killer. When Milly turns her mother into the police, she's given a fresh start with a new identity, a new home, and a spot in an exclusive private school. But Milly is hiding secrets, and as her mother's trial looms, Milly feels trapped, stuck between her new family and the blood that runs through her. What if she can't control who she really is inside? Good Me Bad Me is a must read!
Seventeen-year-old Nadia Turner is mourning her mother's suicide and trying to finish high school at the same time. She takes up with the paster's son, Luke Sheppard, a 21-year-old former football star who now waits tables. But a pregnancy and cover-up lead to lasting implications that go well into the future. Nadia hides her secret from everyone, until they are adults and suddenly must confront the choices they made that one summer. The Mothers by Brit Bennet is a compelling read about what ifs and impossible choices in a contemporary Black community in Southern California.
What if your baby wasn't as innocent as you thought? In Zoje Stage's Baby Teeth, Hanna is a sweet 7-year-old who is an angel to her adoring dad, Alex, but believes her mother, Suzette, stands in her way. Suzette loves her daughter, but after years of expulsions and strain, her health and sanity are fading. She becomes frightened of Hanna's games, where her husband, Alex, remains blind to what's really happening. A mother shouldn't be scared of her young daughter, right? This book is equal parts engrossing and chilling.
In Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine, Gina Royal's life takes a turn for the unexpected when a car accident reveals her husband is secretly a serial killer. She must remake herself as Gwen Proctor to keep herself safe while her ex is in prison. She and her kids find refuge in a house on the remote Stillhouse Lake, until threatening letters arrive, torturing her and threatening her kids. She must stay strong to keep her kids safe and protect her family after her trust was shattered.
The Secret Mother
When Tessa Markham finds a child in her kitchen, she's super confused. He claims to be her son, but she doesn't have children . . . anymore. Tessa contacts the police and is immediately suspected of taking the child. Her life is turned upside down, and her husband reveals secrets of her own. Now, Tessa doesn't know what to believe or who she can trust. The more she investigates what's going on, the more she second guesses her own past and memories. The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland is filled with twists that you won't see coming.
The Lost Ones
A terrible phone call confirms Nora Watts's worst fears in The Lost Ones: her daughter whom she gave up for adoption 15 years ago has vanished. The police consider her a runaway so aren't looking, and her birth parents reach out to Nora as a last hope. Nora is a biracial product of the foster system herself and knows how scary the world can be for girls on the streets, so she sets out to find Bonnie, risking reopening old wounds in the process. Conspiracies, deception, violence, and more await Nora on this terrifying journey to save the girl she wishes had never been born. Sheena Kamal's novel is one of heartbreak and suspense that you will love.
Pieces of Her
Karin Slaughter is a master storyteller, and Pieces of Her is one of my favorites. This novel is about Andrea, who thinks she knows everything about her mother, Laura, who lives in a small beachside town and lives a quiet life. But after one trip to the mall explodes in violence, Andrea suddenly sees a different side to her mom, who has been hiding from her previous identify for the last 30 years in the hopes no one would find her. Now that the secret's out, can anything be the same again? Laura won't talk to her daughter, so Andrea decides to investigate the past herself to uncover the secrets before something terrible happens to either one of them.