Ashley Audrain is definitely going to be a very successful writer if her debut novel, The Push, is anything to go by. The film rights have been snapped up even before the novel’s release. Not many authors get that confirmation of their ability so early in their career.
The Push is a tight, doom-laden telling of any parent’s worse nightmare, the death of a child – particularly when that death may have been caused by a psychotic sibling. Was the sibling involved? Or was it just a freak accident as everyone else claims? And was nurture fine and nature to blame, given the matriarchal history?
Excellent, believable characters, and superb writing should make this a solid 5-star review, but I found it slightly frustrating in places, so dipping to a 4.
Chapters were short (there were 85 in total) in the James Patterson style – punchy, in media res, all ending on a hanging or a revelation. This is fine, as is the taught writing, but it was unrelenting. Yep, it created the atmosphere, but even the flashbacks to happier times had the same claustrophobia – it needed an occasional change of gear to create that contrast with the fear and dread. One final thought was that while the story was very good, it was also very thin. It could’ve done with a few more twisty turns to keep the reader on their toes.
A very good book, and an author to keep an eye on.