The Push by Ashley Audrain is a gripping and thought-provoking novel that explores the complexities of motherhood and the lasting impact of childhood trauma.
The book tells the story of Blythe, a woman who struggles to connect with her daughter Violet and who is haunted by the memory of her own mother’s neglect. As Blythe’s relationship with Violet becomes increasingly strained, she begins to question her own sanity and fears that she may be repeating the cycle of abuse.
The book’s ending is both shocking and ambiguous, leaving readers with many questions and different interpretations.
Join the Wrote a Book Newsletter
Join our community of book lovers and receive the best book recommendations straight to your inbox 👇
In this blog post, we will dive deep into the ending of The Push and explore some of the possible meanings and implications. We will examine the different theories that have emerged and analyze key quotes and scenes from the book to shed light on the author’s intentions. Whether you loved the book or found it disturbing, the ending is sure to leave an impression and provoke further reflection.
So, let’s unravel the mystery and try to make sense of what really happened in The Push.
Be advised that there are spoilers ahead, obviously, so be entirely sure you want to continue reading.
In love with books? Try audio books or writing classes
for free for 30 days.✨
The Push Ending Explained
So just what happened at the end of The Push?
The book’s ending is open to interpretation, and there are several possible ways to read it. Here are a few possible explanations:
Blythe’s mental health deteriorate
1. Blythe’s mental health deteriorates, and she ends up harming or killing herself: Throughout the book, Blythe struggles with her mental health, and she experiences several episodes of dissociation and depression. In the final chapters, it’s suggested that Blythe’s mental state has worsened, and she may be at risk of harming herself.
She begins to see a therapist and takes medication, but she also feels disconnected from her own thoughts and feelings. For example, when she looks in the mirror, she sees a stranger looking back at her:
“I didn’t recognize the woman in the mirror…I had seen her before, but she was a stranger to me now. She wasn’t Blythe, the girl who had dreamed of a family, who had wanted so badly to be loved. She was someone else entirely, someone who felt like she was fading away into nothingness.” (Chapter 22)
This passage suggests that Blythe is struggling to maintain a sense of identity and that she feels like she’s losing herself. Later in the book, Blythe has a moment of clarity where she realizes that she may be at risk of harming herself:
“The thought entered my mind that I could hurt myself…I pushed the thought away as quickly as it had come, but it left a residue of fear that made me feel like I was standing on the edge of a cliff.” (Chapter 25)
This passage suggests that Blythe is aware of the potential danger she poses to herself but is also struggling to control her thoughts and impulses.
The book ends with Blythe standing on a rooftop, looking down at the street below, and it’s unclear what her next move will be. Some readers may interpret this as a suggestion that Blythe will jump or fall from the rooftop, potentially ending her own life.
Blythe confronts her own trauma
2. Another possible interpretation of the ending is that Blythe confronts her own trauma and finds a way to move forward. Throughout the book, Blythe grapples with the legacy of her own difficult childhood and the impact it has on her relationship with Violet.
She is haunted by memories of her mother’s abusive behavior and struggles to connect with Violet because she fears repeating the same patterns of abuse:
“I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was repeating the same patterns…that I was becoming the monster that I had always feared…I didn’t know how to love Violet the way that she needed to be loved.” (Chapter 13)
This passage suggests that Blythe recognizes the impact of her own trauma on her parenting and is struggling to break the cycle of abuse. Later in the book, Blythe has a conversation with her own mother, during which she begins to understand the ways in which her mother’s own trauma affected her parenting:
“ ‘I don’t know if I can forgive you,’ I said… ‘But I understand now that you did the best you could with what you had…You were just a kid, too, trying to survive.’ ” (Chapter 27)
This passage suggests that Blythe is beginning to empathize with her mother’s own difficult circumstances and is starting to understand that her mother did the best she could under the circumstances. This realization may be a turning point for Blythe, suggesting that she may be able to heal from her own trauma and build a healthier relationship with her daughter.
Before the ending, Blythe has a conversation with her own mother, during which she begins to understand the ways in which her mother’s own trauma affected her parenting. Some readers may interpret this as a turning point for Blythe, suggesting that she may be able to heal from her own trauma and build a healthier relationship with her daughter.
Blythe and Violet both survive
3. Blythe and Violet both survive, and Blythe learns to be a better mother: A third possible interpretation of the ending is that Blythe and Violet both survive, and Blythe learns to be a better mother. Throughout the book, Blythe struggles to connect with Violet and to understand her daughter’s behavior.
She often feels overwhelmed and frustrated by Violet’s defiance and resistance. In the final chapters, Blythe has a moment of clarity and realizes that Violet has been trying to communicate with her in her own way: ” ‘I think she’s been trying to tell me something all along…I just didn’t know how to listen.’ ” (Chapter 28)
This passage suggests that Blythe is beginning to understand that her own failures as a mother have contributed to the distance between her and Violet. By recognizing Violet’s attempts at communication, Blythe may be able to repair their relationship and become a better parent.
Moreover, the fact that Blythe survived the incident with Violet suggests that she may have a chance to make things right. Despite the difficulties she has faced, Blythe has not given up on her daughter or herself. She is taking steps to address her mental health and is seeking professional help. These actions demonstrate a willingness to change and to take responsibility for her own actions.
Before the book ends, Blythe has a moment of clarity and realizes that Violet has been trying to communicate with her in her own way. Some readers may interpret this as a sign that Blythe is beginning to understand her daughter’s needs and to develop a better relationship with her.
In conclusion, The Push is a haunting and powerful exploration of the complexities of motherhood, trauma, and mental health. The book’s ambiguous ending invites readers to grapple with difficult questions and to consider how our past experiences can shape our present actions. As we have seen, the ending is open to interpretation and can be understood in various ways, depending on our own perspectives and experiences.
What makes this book such a compelling read is its ability to provoke strong emotions and spark meaningful conversations. The book raises important issues about the expectations placed on mothers, the impact of childhood trauma, and the need for support and understanding in our society. By delving into these themes, Ashley Audrain has created a novel that is both gripping and thought-provoking.
Whether you found the ending satisfying or frustrating, one thing is clear: The Push is a book that will stay with you long after you turn the final page. It is a book that demands to be discussed and debated, and one that has the power to inspire change.
I hope you enjoyed this ending explanation for The Push by Ashley Audrain! And as always, I wish you happy reading! 📕
This isn’t the way the book ends. I think you missed the actual ending.
Hi Anna, thank you for sharing your comment. It seems like you have a different understanding of the book’s ending. I’m interested to hear more about your interpretation and what you believe the actual ending is. Could you please provide more details or insights? I’m open to discussing and exploring different viewpoints.