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The perfect mother : a novel

[New York] : HarperCollins, [2018]
Physical Description:
8 audio discs (9 1/2 hr.) : CD audio, digital ; 4 3/4 in.
General Note:
Compact discs.
They call themselves the May Mothers--a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. When they agree to meet up for drinks and some much-needed adult time, one of the babies goes missing. Now the police are asking disturbing questions and testing friendships.


Call Number
CD Molloy, A.

On Order




An addictive psychological thriller about a group of women whose lives become unexpectedly connected when one of their newborns goes missing.

A night out. A few hours of fun. That's all it was meant to be.

They call themselves the May Mothers--a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn's Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they are looking for a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

Thirteen days. An unexpected twist. The Perfect Mother is a "true page turner." --B.A. Paris, author of Behind Closed Doors

Author Notes

Aimee Molloy is a New York Times bestselling author of several books such as: However Long the Night: Molly Melching's Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph. She is also the co-author of many non-fiction books like Jantsen's Gift and The Perfect Mother. Her title 'Rosewater" was made into a movie by Jon Stewart.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this promising first novel from nonfiction bestseller Molloy (However Long the Night), the May Mothers, a parenting group, gather at a Brooklyn bar for an adults-only Fourth of July celebration. The outing's organizers-Nell Mackey, Colette Yates, and Francie Givens-are intent on showing harried single mom Winnie Ross a good time, so they arrange for Nell's nanny, Alma, to watch Winnie's son, Midas, and delete the baby monitor app from Winnie's phone. Drinking commences and Winnie wanders off, leaving her phone and house key with Nell, who misplaces them. Shortly thereafter, Alma calls Nell to report that Midas is missing. When the NYPD fails to find him, the media turns its attention to Winnie and the other May Mothers, prompting Nell, Colette, and Francie to launch their own increasingly reckless investigation. The mystery of Midas's disappearance may be the skeleton on which Molloy's plot hangs, but it's her characters' anxieties that give the story life and substance. Molloy doesn't fully earn her book's big twist, but her clever narrative structure heightens tension and creates uncertainty while spotlighting the solitary struggles of motherhood. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Kirkus Review

A mommy group attempts to get to the bottom of a baby's disappearance in Molloy's debut."Bad things happen in heat like this." The May Mothers is a group of Brooklyn women whose children share May birthdates and who enjoy bonding over the trials and tribulations of new motherhood. There's gorgeous and brash Brit Nell Mackey, ghostwriter Colette Yates, sweet-natured Southerner Francie Givens, and Token, which is the nickname they've given the sole stay-at-home dad in the group, whom they assume is gay. Then there's single mom Winnie Ross, an otherworldly beauty who sets herself apart but seems devoted to her little boy, Midas. When Nell suggests a moms' night out without the babies, Winnie is reluctant to go, but Nell won't take no for an answer, even offering to provide a babysitter. They drink the night away at a local bar, and before they leave, Nell receives a phone call from the babysitter with the news that Midas is missing, taken from his crib while she slept. Against the sweltering Brooklyn summer, the ladies, horrified at the mounting sensationalism of the case, use their various skills to dig into Winnie's secretive past, hoping to bring little Midas home. The narrative rotates among the moms, offering insight into their varied lives, and readers will think they've got this one figured out, but the surprises, and revelations, come fast and often. A bonus: Emails sent to the May Mothers by a website called The Village--where they all registered--precede each chapter, doling out smug, one-size-fits-all advice on babies' milestones.Molloy, a master of clever misdirection, deftly explores the expectations, insecurities, and endless judgement that accompany motherhood in this fast-paced thriller featuring a bevy of strong, smart, and realistically flawed women who, refreshingly, have each other's backs when it counts the most. Mesmerizing.

Booklist Review

Molloy's fiction debut features the May Mothers, a mommy group made up of Brooklynites who gave birth in the same month. One mother, Winnie, seems to always be on the outskirts of the group. She's quite reserved, so the more gregarious mothers have to push her to join them in a Mom's Night Out at a local bar. She frets momentarily over leaving her three-month-old son, Midas, but aggressive Nell sets her up with a new babysitter, so Winnie decides it will be fine to let her hair down for one night. When Midas is kidnapped the babysitter fell asleep all hell breaks loose, and every mama is under suspicion. As the investigation gets underway, it seems that every member of the group has some pretty big secrets to hide. Why did Nell delete the video-monitor app from Winnie's phone earlier that night? Who is the token male (literally nicknamed Token) in the mommy group? Readers who can't get enough of suburban suspense along the lines of Liane Moriarty and B. A. Paris will want to give this a try.--Vnuk, Rebecca Copyright 2018 Booklist

New York Review of Books Review

In Molloy's fast-paced debut thriller, a group of Brooklyn women (and one man) who call themselves the May Mothers - they all have children who were born in that same month - meet one evening at a bar for a girl's night out. It's the first time many of them have left their newborns in the care of spouses and sitters, but they barely have time to drink themselves properly legless before tragedy strikes: Single-mother Winnie's baby, Midas, is kidnapped from his crib. The kidnapping of Baby Midas might be the central plot of this novel, but the stresses and joys of mothering a newborn run a close second. The novel is narrated by three of the May Mothers who are all struggling with motherhood: Nell is gearing up to go back to work, which means putting her baby in day care; Colette is crushed between a brutal writing deadline and the demands of a newborn; Francie is a housewife faced with raising a child in Brooklyn on a limited income. (Good luck with that, Francie!) The common denominator - aside from sleep deprivation - is that they all constantly worry they're making the wrong choices. And now, in the aftermath of the abduction, the media are scrutinizing the group's decision to go out drinking, and their parenting in general. "Don't they know how hard this all is?" Nell laments about the press. "The pressure of just keeping these babies alive. The task of loving someone like this." It's possibly the most trenchant passage in the book. The details of motherhood and child care are never glossed over or ignored, even when the women start to investigate the crime on their own. It's gratifying to see Winnie's friends rally around her, especially since they are perfectly willing to break the rules - and even the law - to help their friend and rescue her baby. Forget girl power, we're talking mother power here, and there's nothing quite like it. Like most characters in thrillers, many of the May Mothers have secrets, some of which dilute the urgency of the investigation's timeline. And Molloy repeatedly generates suspense by depriving the reader of information (as opposed to, say, having actually suspenseful stuff happen). But I was hooked anyway and stayed up late to finish. What do you call a book like that? Oh yeah: a page-turner. And it's a rare and wonderful thing. Katherine HEINY is the author, most recently, of "Standard Deviation.'

Library Journal Review

DEBUT Becoming a new mom can be terrifying. The not-knowing and the second-guessing. The guilt of not being perfect. How do I make the baby stop crying? How will I know if something's really wrong? Winnie Ross never thought she'd have to ask who's taken my baby, and why? But that's just the question she and other members of the May Mothers' mommy group have been trying to answer since taking a baby-break for a rare night of fun at a trendy bar. What was supposed to be a well-deserved respite from their exhaustion turns into a nightmare when Winnie's son is abducted from his crib. With few clues to lead investigators to the baby, the women are plagued with fear and suspicion. Secrets ripple beneath the surface of these friends' lives until one ignites a firestorm in their tenuous new-mother sisterhood. VERDICT For lovers of cunning narrative suspense in the vein of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl, this debut novel, which is being adapted for the screen by actress Kerry Washington, will keep readers turning the pages, sending chills to mothers everywhere. [See Prepub Alert, 11/21/17.]-K.L. Romo, Duncanville, TX © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.