The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
HarperCollins Publishers: 5/1/18
eBook review copy; 336 pages
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is a highly recommended debut thriller/mystery featuring a group of new mothers.
The May Mothers are an informal group of Brooklyn based new moms (and
one dad) whose children were all born in May. They meet twice a week in
Prospect Park for camaraderie and to share their concerns. On the 4th of
July three of the mothers, Nell Mackey, Colette Yates, and Francie
Givens, along with Token, the nickname of the only male, plan an
adult's only night out at a local bar. They persuade single mom Winnie
Ross into attending by arranging for Nell’s nanny, Alma, to watch
The evening's drinking begins and before the night is over Winnie's
son, Midas is missing, abducted from his crib. The police and media
scrutiny uncovers all manner of secrets from Winnie's past and begin to
focus on the mother's group too. Nell, Colette, and Francie don't
believe the police are handling the investigation correctly, so they
begin to do their own investigation into what happened. The novel
unfolds during thirteen nerve wracking days as the police and the May
Mother's conduct their own investigations.
As expected, the information that comes out about everyone during an
investigation of a missing child can be startling and finger-pointing
and speculation will abound. The chapters in the novel open with emails
sent to the May Mothers by a website called The Village. The chipper
rather self-satisfied emails all contain general advice on babies'
milestones and raising children, which fits in nicely with the narrative
based on these new mothers.
The Perfect Mother is an easy to read and follow novel and should
engross most readers. I will admit I didn't care quite as much about
the baby-raising-talk as a younger parent might, because baby-raising
days are far behind me. What this means is that I focus more on the
satisfaction I find from the quality of the writing, plot, character
development, mystery, and the eventual conclusion. Molloy did quite good
on all these points. The narrative does slow down a bit in the second
half of the novel, right when you are desperate for more action, which
may find some impatient readers skimming the novel for a quicker pace.
My review copy was courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers.