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.