Review of The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
Updated: Feb 13, 2021
In case you missed it: Aimee Molloy's page-turner is a quick read with a major--if manipulative-feeling--plot twist.
The characters in The Perfect Mother make endless poor or nerve-wracking choices (stealing, sharing information not meant for others, failing to meet professional deadlines, spying, ultimately turning on each other, and in one disturbing instance, a married character secretly meets a stranger for intimacy--despite actively feeling disgust and complicated and strong emotions surrounding having been assaulted in the past—in order to try to get information about the mystery at hand). There are looming and worrisome money troubles in one family with a newborn that kept me supremely nervous.
Molloy's main characters are new moms, but the vast majority of their questionable choices don’t feel linked to attempts to free themselves from “perfect mother” aspirations, nor do they seem to be a deliberate rejection of unrealistic expectations for parenting or relationships.
The main character remains an empty vessel who can conveniently be believed to have done a horrific thing, but the emotional distance established also prevented me from from feeling connected to her and her troubles.
Despite the main protagonists' immense relief at having a resolution to the terrible situation at hand, I found it difficult to believe that after all of the trauma and betrayals—and what ultimately felt like thin bonds holding the women together in the first place—they would ever purposely see each other again, so the final scene left me shrugging my shoulders a little bit, although I liked seeing Winnie in action again and seeing her natural caution.
The Perfect Mother is a quick read and a page-turner, although you may consistently suspect that you’re being manipulated.
Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?
If you like mysteries with twist, you may be in for Molloy's newest book, Goodnight Beautiful.
If you've read either or both of these books, I'd love to talk about the similarities and differences in the books' twists and how they went over with you!