Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Mother May I Book Cover

Mother May I
Joshilyn Jackson
General Fiction (Adult) | Mystery & Thrillers | True Crime
Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)
04 Aug 2022


Someone has taken Bree's baby...

'If you ever want to see your baby again, GO HOME.
Tell no one.
Do not call the police.
Do not call your husband.
Be at your house by 5:15 PM.
Or he’s gone for good...'

Revenge doesn't wait for permission.

To get her son back alive, Bree must complete one small but critical task. It seems harmless enough, but this one action comes with a devastating price. And now Bree finds herself complicit in a terrible crime, caught up in a tangled web of secrets that threatens to destroy the perfect life she has built.

Joshilyn Jackson’s “Mother May I” is a pulse-pounding domestic suspense novel that explores the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. With a sharp #MeToo edge, this chilling and thought-provoking tale delves into power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make—ones that can transform our lives in unforeseen ways.

Plot Summary:

Bree Cabbat, having grown up poor in rural Georgia, now enjoys a life of privilege. She’s married into wealth, has two talented daughters, a baby boy, and a gorgeous home. But one morning, an old gray-haired woman dressed in black appears outside her bedroom window. Bree dismisses it as a trick of the light, but when her infant son, Robert, vanishes from his car seat, she realizes the threat is real. The mysterious woman demands revenge on one of Bree’s husband’s colleagues, threatening Robert’s life. Caught in a devil’s bargain, Bree must make a fateful choice—one that comes with a devastating price.

What Works:

  1. Tension and Suspense: Jackson skillfully builds tension from the outset. The urgency to save Robert keeps readers turning pages, breathless with anticipation.
  2. Complex Characters: Bree is a relatable protagonist—a mother torn between love and desperation. Her internal struggle resonates, and readers will empathize with her choices.
  3. Sharp Writing: The prose is efficient and gritty, propelling the story forward. Every sentence serves a purpose, maintaining the breakneck pace.
  4. Exploration of Themes: Jackson delves into class, race, and sexual abuse, grounding the thriller in real-world issues. The #MeToo undertones add depth.
  5. Emotional Impact: The raw emotions—loss, betrayal, and redemption—hit hard. Bree’s determination to protect her family is palpable.


“Mother May I” stands out in the crowded thriller genre. It’s a literary beach read for thinking (and feeling) readers—a rollercoaster of suspense that grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go until the final page. Joshilyn Jackson’s storytelling prowess shines, making this novel a must-read for anyone seeking a gripping domestic thriller.



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