Brooklyn author’s new domestic thriller combines suspense with motherhood
“The Perfect Mother” (HarperCollins, May 1), the riveting debut novel by Brooklyn author Aimee Molloy, is an impossible-to-put down domestic thriller. Unfolding over 13 fraught days, and culminating with an unexpected twist, this highly charged page-turner also explores hot-button issues of contemporary motherhood, misogyny, loss and identity. It is already slated to be a major motion picture starring Kerry Washington; Vanity Fair has predicted that it will “complete the informal suburban thriller trifecta that began with ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train.’”
Some people are so good at making perfect look easy.
Meet the May Mothers — Brooklyn moms (and one father) whose babies were all born the same month, and who meet regularly in the park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood. At the core of the group are three very different women: sweet, Southern Francie, the glue who holds them together, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband works too much and earns too little. Pretty, together Colette, in the midst of ghostwriting a high-profile book when she gave birth, struggles with her conflicting desires to support her literary novelist husband’s career and advance her own. And then there’s the irreverent, brash Nell, forced back to her corporate job eight weeks after giving birth, who is desperate to keep a scandalous, painful past out of the spotlight. When another May Mother’s baby is taken from his crib — the one night the group decides to go out for drinks — these three become determined to find the baby before it is too late. As the crisis unfolds, it threatens to expose secrets, test marriages and fracture friendships.
“The Perfect Mother” is a gripping novel of psychological suspense, but it is equally intended as a reflection on motherhood, says first time novelist Molloy. “I started to write this book when my oldest daughter was 3, and my youngest was 1. At the time, I found that during the day, I was drawn to reading beautiful, weighty novels about motherhood — ‘Dept. of Speculation,’ ‘Eleven Hours’ — and at night, it was suspense novels like ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The Girl on the Train,’ just for the thrill and pleasure of reading. The idea began to take shape then: a novel that explores this fleeting moment of new motherhood — the pressures women face, the choices they have to make, particularly when they’re raising a child in a city, with no family around to help — while at the same time, is gripping and suspenseful and impossible to put down, a true who done it.”
Molloy is the author of The New York Times bestseller “However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph” and the co-author of several non-fiction books. She lives in the borough with her husband and two daughters.
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