Mother May I

Joshilyn Jackson

William Morrow Pub

April 6th, 2021

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson is a domestic thriller that has readers ponder many issues. There is love vs loyalty, seeing both sides of a person’s character, and living or rejecting the trust and denial while tackling gender roles, sexual assault, revenge, socioeconomic status, kidnapping, and murder. 

The book opens when the main character, Bree Cabbot, dreams of seeing a witch peering into her bedroom window, dressed all in black. Yet, later that day, while attending a musical performance of her teenage daughter, she sees the woman again. After putting her infant son down for an instant, Bree realizes someone has taken him. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow. Bree now has to do exactly as the woman says to get her baby back alive.  This is where readers take a journey with Bree to rescue her child. 

“I wanted this person to be frightening.  Bree dreams of her, but also feeds into the thought that little old ladies are not threatening.  Yet, this person kidnaps Bree’s child.  It was a way to have a threatening moment for Bree.  I thought of the fairy tales where the old witch wants to eat children, something very scary. Objectively, the witch does terrible things.”

“I also wrote some similarities between the witch and Bree. Both are from the same economic background, although Bree had upper mobility.  Both were fighting for their children. In some way, they understood and felt empathy for each other, forming a weird connection.  Both are mothers.  The difference is that the witch is doing incredibly evil things, becoming a terrible dangerous person.  While Bree is warm, brave, loyal, loving, and hopeful.”

Bree has decided to reject her mother’s fearful outlook.  She has overcome her social-economic status by marrying into wealth.  It seems Bree has it all: wealth, power and connections, a loving lawyer husband, two talented young teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world. But none of that is enough if she cannot find her kidnapped child. 

Regarding her husband, Trey. We see him only through the eyes of women.  He never speaks.  The way to get a real window into him is through the women in the story.  His judge and jury are women. Also, many readers who are women, will be his judge.  Bree is conflicted because she knows him and how he always treated their daughters and herself with respect.”

This is a suspenseful thriller that will captivate the reader. The unexpected twists and turns allow for a very riveting story.



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.