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If you enjoyed The Push by Ashley Audrain and are looking for similar intense psychological dramas that explore psychological suspense and complex family dynamics, here are some recommendations.
These books share elements of motherhood expectations, intergenerational trauma, grief, and the weight of maternal responsibility. They promise an exhilarating reading journey akin to Ashley Audrain’s The Push.
The Push Summary
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller (2021)
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Debut Novel (2021)
- A Good Morning America Book Club Pick
- A New York Times best-seller
Blythe Connor is determined that she will be the warm, comforting mother to her new baby Violet whom she herself never had.
But in the thick of motherhood’s exhausting early days, Blythe becomes convinced that something is wrong with her daughter–she doesn’t behave as most children do.
Or is it all in Blythe’s head? Her husband, Fox, says she’s imagining things. The more Fox dismisses her fears, the more Blythe begins to question her own sanity, and the more we begin to question what Blythe is telling us about her life as well.
Then their son Sam is born–and with him, Blythe has the blissful connection she’d always imagined with her child. Even Violet seems to love her little brother. But when life as they know it is changed in an instant, the devastating fall-out forces Blythe to face the truth.
The Push is a tour de force you will read in a sitting, an utterly immersive novel that will challenge everything you think you know about motherhood, about what we owe our children, and what it feels like when women are not believed.
Best Books Like The Push
19 Similar books to read after The Push. The tense, page-turning psychological novel delves into the woman’s experience of motherhood.
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth
- Goodreads’ One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021
- The Big Mysteries and Thrillers of 2021
- New York Times best-seller
The first book in the list of books like The Push is The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth. A gripping novel that explores the complex relationship between two sisters and the secrets that bind them. The story revolves around Fern Castle, who leads a carefully structured life due to her aversion to crowds, bright lights, and loud noises. She works in a local library and regularly has dinner with her twin sister, Rose.
When Rose discovers that she is unable to conceive, Fern sees it as an opportunity to repay her sister. Fern decides to have a baby for Rose and embarks on a mission to find a suitable father. However, this decision sets off a chain of events that not only disrupts Fern’s carefully constructed life but also unearths dark secrets from their past.
The novel delves into themes of sisterhood, sacrifice, and the lengths one is willing to go to protect their loved ones. As Fern’s plan unravels, the story becomes increasingly rich and shocking, revealing the hidden complexities and dynamics within their family.
With her signature writing style, Sally Hepworth creates an addictive narrative. The Good Sister explores loyalty, deception, and the bonds that tie siblings together.
Verity by Colleen Hoover
- Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller in Hardcover
- USA Today Bestseller
- The Globe and Mail Bestseller
- Publishers Weekly Bestseller
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Romance (2019)
Verity by Colleen Hoover is a steamy psychological thriller that follows the story of Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer who is offered a life-changing job opportunity.
Jeremy Crawford, the husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, hires Lowen to complete the remaining books of his wife. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home to sort through Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to start writing. However, she stumbles upon an unfinished autobiography that Verity never intended for anyone to read.
As Lowen delves into the manuscript, she discovers bone-chilling admissions and shocking revelations about what truly happened on the day Verity’s daughter died.
As the story unfolds, tensions rise, and Lowen becomes entangled in a dangerous web of deceit and manipulation.
Verity is a lot similar to The Push as both novels are driven by suspense and mystery, keeping readers guessing and engaged throughout. They feature compelling plot twists, unexpected revelations, and the unraveling of dark secrets, creating a sense of tension and anticipation.
If you have enjoyed Verity, find more books like Verity.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
- Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Mystery & Thriller (2019)
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Debut Novel (2019)
- Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is a mysterious and haunting story of Alicia Berenson, a renowned artist who has been sentenced to a psychiatric facility for the brutal murder of her husband, Gabriel.
The novel is narrated from the perspective of Theo Faber, a psychotherapist who is determined to find out the truth behind her silence. As he delves deeper into her past Theo discovers a web of complex relationships.
Like The Push , The Silent Patient delivers sharp insights about inherited trauma, the impact of childhood experiences on one’s identity, family dynamics, and love.
While reading The Silent Patient I was fascinated by Alex Michaelides’ skillful storytelling that delves into the depths of the human psyche and the power of silence. Read my full review of The Silent Patient
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Horror (2018)
- One of Entertainment Weekly’s Must-Read Books for July
- People Magazine’s Book of the Week
- One of the “Biggest Thrillers of the Summer”—SheReads
- A Barnes and Noble Blog Best Thriller for July!
- “One of 11 Crime Novels You Should Read in July”—Crime Reads
- “Best Summer Reads for 2018”—Publishers Weekly
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage is a chilling psychological thriller by award-winning playwright and filmmaker Zoje Stage. The novel uncovers the disturbing relationship between a mother, Suzette, and her young daughter, Hanna. The story is narrated from the perspectives of both Suzette and Hanna, offering a glimpse into their contrasting experiences and perspectives.
Hanna is portrayed as a seemingly innocent and angelic child in the eyes of her father, who shares a deep bond with her. However, Suzette sees a different side to her daughter. Hanna is determined to remove her mother from their lives and will go to extreme lengths to achieve her goal.
Suzette, plagued by years of homeschooling difficulties and expulsions, begins to question her own sanity and wonders if there is something seriously wrong with Hanna.
Baby Teeth is a twisty and creepy read with the elements of motherhood, the complexities of familial relationships, and the darkness that can lurk within a seemingly innocent child.
Zoje Stage skillfully creates a tense atmosphere, keeping readers on edge as they witness the escalating battle between Suzette and Hanna.
Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson
- National Bestseller
Mother May I is a chilling domestic suspense novel that plunges into the lengths a mother is willing to go to protect her child and the repercussions that follow. The story centers around Bree Cabbat, who has married into a wealthy and powerful family, enjoying a life of privilege and security.
However, Bree’s world is shattered when she spots a mysterious old woman peering into her bedroom window. Initially dismissing the sight, Bree’s fears escalate when she sees the woman again, right before her infant son is abducted from a car parked just feet away. Bree discovers a note left behind, demanding her compliance and warning her against involving the police.
Driven by her love for her child, Bree becomes entangled in a dangerous game orchestrated by the mysterious woman. Desperate to recover her son, Bree must follow a series of instructions, each task carrying a devastating consequence if not completed.
With the themes of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make in the face of adversity, Mother May I is ultimately about the complexities of maternal instincts.
Little Darlings by Melanie Golding
- A Refinery29 Best Summer Thriller
- An Amazon Best Book of the Month
- One of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month for May: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Refinery29’s “Best Summer Thrillers 2019”, Goodreads’ “Spring’s Most Anticipated mysteries & Thrillers”, The Guardian‘s “The Best Recent Crime and Thrillers”
For fans of books like The Push, Little Darlings is a dark and unsettling thriller that delves into the sinister side of motherhood. Inspired by dark fairy tales, the story revolves around a new mother, Lauren Tranter.
Although exhausted and sleep-deprived, Lauren is certain that an unknown woman tried to replace her twin babies, Morgan and Riley, with eerie creatures while she was in the hospital. However, nobody believes her, dismissing it as a figment of her imagination.
A month later, while in a park, Lauren’s worst nightmare comes true—the babies disappear. When they are eventually found, everyone insists that they are Morgan and Riley. But Lauren can’t shake off the feeling that something is terribly wrong. While everyone else celebrates their return, Lauren is certain that these children are not her babies.
Driven by her maternal instinct and the belief that her true sons are still in danger, Lauren embarks on a desperate mission to bring them back. She is willing to risk everything, even if it means challenging the boundaries of reality and facing the consequences of her actions.
Little Darlings deals with the themes of paranoia, the blurred lines between reality and fantasy, and the lengths a mother will go to protect her children. It is a chilling exploration of the depths of a mother’s love and the unsettling power of folklore and myth.
My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite
- Booker Prize Nominee
- Winner of the La Times Book Prize for Mystery/thriller
- Finalist for the Women’s Prize
My Sister, the Serial Killer is a darkly comedic novel that explores the complex and twisted relationship between two sisters, Korede and Ayoola. Korede, a responsible and practical woman, finds herself constantly cleaning up after her younger sister killing her boyfriend in acts of self-defense.
When Ayoola’s latest boyfriend meets the same fate, Korede is once again called upon to help cover up the crime. Despite knowing the immoral nature of her sister’s actions, Korede remains fiercely loyal and protective. However, when Ayoola begins dating the doctor Korede has been secretly in love with, Korede is faced with a difficult choice. She must decide whether to protect the man she loves or continue shielding her sister from the consequences of her actions.
My Sister, the Serial Killer is a unique and thought-provoking novel that challenges conventional notions of loyalty, love, and justice while offering a satirical take on the crime genre.
And it’s also a thriller that I highly recommend listening to. Audiobook narrator, Adepero Oduye’s incredible narration makes the book even more quirky. Read my review of My Sister, the Serial Killer .
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver is a powerful international bestseller that delves into the unsettling story of a motherhood gone wrong.
Eva, the protagonist, never desired to be a mother, especially not to a boy who committed a heinous act of violence, killing several people. Now, two years later, Eva must confront the aftermath of her son’s actions and navigate the challenges of marriage, career, family, and the complex emotions she harbors towards Kevin.
As she reflects on the sacrifices and societal expectations of motherhood, Eva wrestles with guilt, fear, and the haunting possibility that she played a role in driving Kevin toward his nihilistic path.
With a raw and direct narrative style, We Need to Talk About Kevin explores the complex dynamics of a fractured family, and the depths of a mother’s love and guilt. It’s also a powerful crime audiobook as the narrator Coleen Marlo masterfully captures the nuances of the characters and immerses the listeners in a world of suspense and intrigue.
The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry
Perfect Little World by Kevin Wilson is a page-turning debut suspense novel that explores the dark consequences of a couple’s desperate desire to have a child.
Christopher and Hannah, a surgeon and nurse respectively, seemingly have it all—successful careers and a loving marriage. However, the one thing missing from their lives is a child of their own. When they encounter Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, at the hospital where they work, Christopher feels an immediate connection and convinces Hannah to bring her into their home.
However, they soon discover that Janie is not an ordinary child. Her troubled past has left her with deep emotional scars, and her behavior becomes increasingly disturbing, particularly towards Hannah.
Janie becomes fiercely attached to Christopher while alienating Hannah, creating tension and strain in their once-happy household. Hannah struggles to connect with Janie, feeling overwhelmed by the mounting pressure, while Christopher remains blind to the true nature of Janie’s actions.
Perfect Little World is an unbearably tense thriller exploring parenthood, the consequences of unfulfilled desires, and the complexity of familial relationships.
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney
- 2018 Goodreads Choice Awards Finalist: Best Mystery & Thriller
- Indie Next Pick for March and November 2018
- LibraryReads March 2018
- LitHub: The Most Anticipated Crime, Mystery, and Thriller Titles of 2018
- USA Today: 5 New Books Not to Miss
- Bustle: The 13 New Thrillers Goodreads Users Are Most Excited About This Spring
- Entertainment Weekly: 10 Best New Thrillers
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney is a dark and provocative psychological thriller that introduces Amber Reynolds, a woman who finds herself trapped in a coma with a chilling realization about her life. Amber is aware of everything happening around her, but she is unable to move, speak, or open her eyes. As she navigates her paralyzed present, she starts to suspect that her husband played a role in her current condition.
The narrative alternates between three timelines: the present, the week leading up to Amber’s accident, and her childhood diaries from two decades ago.
As the story unfolds, Amber battles with her fragmented memories and tries to piece together the truth behind her situation. She questions her own perceptions and wonders if something can be considered a lie if it feels like the truth.
The First Day of Spring by Nancy Tucker
In The First Day of Spring , we meet Chrissie, a young girl with a chilling secret that shapes her life. At the age of eight, she experiences a disturbing thrill when she kills a boy. The sense of power she feels is intoxicating, a stark contrast to her challenging home life characterized by scarcity and neglect.
Fast forward twenty years, and Chrissie is now an adult living under a new identity, haunted by her past actions. As a single mother, she is determined to give her daughter the happy childhood she never had.
However, her efforts are threatened by ominous phone calls that suggest her past is catching up with her. The fear of losing her child becomes all-consuming, and Chrissie must confront the consequences of her actions and the relentless pursuit of those seeking them.
Through alternating between the past and present, the novel delves into themes of guilt, identity, innocence, and evil. Chrissie’s harrowing journey raises questions about the nature of redemption and the impact of a traumatic childhood on one’s adult life.
Similar to the novel The Push, The First Day of Spring is a meticulously observed narration with the most unforgettable characters.
Good Me, Bad Me by Ali Land
- International Bestseller and the New York Times Book Review’s Editors’ Choice
Good Me Bad Me”by Ali Land is a dark and compelling psychological suspense novel that delves into the nature versus nurture debate and explores the lingering influence of a troubled past on an individual’s present and future.
The story revolves around Milly, a teenage girl whose mother is a notorious serial killer. Despite her love for her mother, Milly knows that the only way to stop her reign of terror is to turn her in to the police.
As a result, Milly is given a fresh start with a new identity. However, Milly carries deep secrets and inner turmoil. Living in her new home and preparing for her mother’s impending trial, Milly begins to question her own identity and wrestles with the fear of inheriting her mother’s dark tendencies.
As the pressures mount and she feels trapped in her seemingly perfect new life, Milly is forced to confront the question of whether she is inherently good or if she is destined to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
Good Me Bad Me”by Ali Land is a chilling and thought-provoking debut that raises unsettling questions about the lasting impact of familial ties and the potential for darkness within us all.
The Upstairs House by Julia Fine
- Winner of the Chicago Review of Books Fiction Award
- A Good Morning America Book of the Month Selection
- A Popsugar Must-Read Book of the Month
- A Buzzfeed Most Anticipated Book of the Year
- A The Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year
In this provocative and atmospheric novel, The Upstairs House by Julia Fine, new mother Megan Weiler finds herself unraveling both mentally and emotionally in the wake of childbirth.
Struggling with exhaustion, guilt over her unfinished dissertation, and the challenges of raising her newborn alone, Megan’s fragile state becomes entangled with the ghostly presence of Margaret Wise Brown, the renowned children’s book writer and author of “Goodnight Moon.”
Margaret, a ghost only visible to Megan, seeks resolution with her former lover, the once-famous Michael Strange. As Margaret draws Megan deeper into her supernatural world, Megan becomes embroiled in a power struggle between the ghostly figures. Meanwhile, Megan and her newborn daughter are placed in grave danger.
Through the lens of Megan’s postpartum haunting, the novel explores themes of a woman’s complex relationship with her body and mind during the transformative period of new motherhood.
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
- An instant New York Times bestseller!
- Named the Best Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association!
- Winner of the Barry Award and the Macavity Award
- One of the best books of 2019 by Time, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, Booklist, Kirkus, The Strand Magazine
In the heart-pounding thriller The Chain by Adrian McKinty, Rachel Klein’s ordinary morning takes a horrifying turn when she receives a phone call from an unknown number. On the line is a woman who reveals that she has abducted Rachel’s daughter, Kylie, and demands a ransom. But this is no ordinary kidnapping. Rachel learns that she must not only pay the ransom but also become a kidnapper herself, finding another child to abduct and continuing the vicious cycle.
Caught in the clutches of The Chain, a sinister organization that preys on parents’ love for their children, Rachel becomes entangled in a twisted scheme where victims become perpetrators. The masterminds behind The Chain know that parents will go to extreme lengths to protect their children, exploiting their desperation and forcing them to commit unspeakable acts they never thought possible.
The Chain examines the primal instincts of parenthood, exposing the lengths people will go to protect their families and the dark forces that can manipulate even the most ordinary individuals.
The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing
Set against the backdrop of 1960s England, The Fifth Child follows Harriet and David Lovatt who are leading a perfect family life with their four children. However, their idyllic existence is shattered when they welcome their fifth child into the world.
From his birth, Ben, their fifth child, is unlike any other. His gruesomely goblin-like in appearance, insatiable hunger, abnormal strength, and violent tendencies set him apart from the innocence and vulnerability associated with infants. Harriet and David, as parents, find themselves unable to connect with Ben. Harriet struggles to love him, David recoils from physical contact, and their other children are frightened by him. Ben’s presence disrupts their carefully constructed world and challenges their belief in a benevolent and harmonious society.
And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall
- Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller (2020)
In And Now She’s Gone, Isabel Lincoln has vanished, leaving behind a trail of uncertainty. Grayson Sykes is tasked with the mission of finding her, although she’s hesitant to locate someone who might not wish to be found.
As Gray delves deeper into the search, she unravels a complex web of secrets surrounding Isabel, discovering the truth that she has carefully concealed from those closest to her.
The novel is a captivating cat-and-mouse game between two intricate women. As Grayson delves deeper into the investigation, she uncovers the dangerous and enigmatic world that Isabel inhabited. Each revelation adds another layer of complexity to the mystery, intensifying the inherent risks involved.
With its gripping narrative and exploration of the human psyche, And Now She’s Gone presents a thrilling tale of suspense and self-preservation.
The Bad Seed by William March
William March’s classic thriller, The Bad Seed, poses a haunting question: What happens when an ordinary family is confronted with the existence of a child who is a serial killer?
Originally published in 1954, this gripping novel has stood the test of time and continues to captivate readers with its chilling narrative.
The story revolves around little Rhoda Penmark, whose seemingly innocent appearance masks a dark secret. As the plot unfolds, the sinister nature of Rhoda’s actions becomes apparent, leaving her family and those around her in shock and disbelief. The book’s exploration of the consequences of evil lurking within a child’s heart has had a lasting impact on the thriller genre.
The Bad Seed remains as chilling, intelligent, and timely as ever, offering a thought-provoking exploration of the dark side of human nature.
Nightbitch by Rachel Yoder
Nightbitch tells the story of a mother who undergoes a remarkable transformation, taking readers on a journey through the complexities of contemporary womanhood and power dynamics.
The protagonist, an artist, finds herself struggling with the demands of motherhood while being isolated and exhausted. Her husband’s constant absence from work leaves her feeling lonely and on the brink of losing her sanity.
However, one fateful night, something extraordinary happens when her son refuses to sleep. She begins experiencing strange physical changes—a sharpening of her canines, the emergence of new patches of hair, and the awakening of new instincts. Alongside these physical changes, she discovers a new voice within herself.
As the story unfolds, the protagonist embraces her newfound identity, exploring her transformed self and the power it brings.
Nightbitch is an audacious and darkly humorous read that challenges societal norms and expectations.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
- Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Mystery & Thriller (2021)
- New York Times Bestseller
The final book in the list of books like The Push is one of my favorite thriller- mysteries of all time. The Last Thing He Told Me is a mystery novel written by Laura Dave. The story follows Hannah Hall, who receives a note from her husband, Owen Michaels, just before he disappears. The note instructs her to protect Bailey, Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter from his previous marriage. Despite Bailey’s initial resistance, Hannah becomes determined to uncover the truth behind Owen’s disappearance.
As Hannah’s attempts to contact Owen go unanswered and law enforcement intervenes, she begins to realize that her husband had been keeping secrets. With Bailey’s help, Hannah delves into Owen’s past, hoping to uncover his true identity and the reasons for his disappearance.
Throughout their investigation, Hannah and Bailey not only uncover Owen’s secrets but also forge a strong bond. As they piece together the puzzle of Owen’s life, they find themselves building a new future that they never could have anticipated.
The Last Thing He Told Me became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller and was selected as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, captivating readers with its suspenseful and compelling narrative of a woman’s quest for the truth about her husband. Read my review of The Last Thing He Told Me .
There you’ve the best books like The Push.
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