Mother May I

It happens in an instant. While Bree Cabbat watches her eldest daughter rehearse a school production of Grease, her infant son, Robert, sleeps in the seat next to her in the balcony of the school’s theatre. One moment he is there, the next he is gone. In his place is a note which demands that Bree head directly home, that she is not to contact the police, and to wait for a call. She is being watched and any deviation will result in Robert’s death.

Bree complies and is contacted. Robert is safe, for now, but for him to be returned, she must do exactly as she is told. She is given directions and a task to complete. Fearing for her child, Bree does as she is instructed. She attends a party thrown by her husband’s law firm, one that she had not intended to attend while he was out of town on business, and slips some pills into a partner’s drink. She is assured that this medication is a drug that will only incapacitate him and that she is not to worry about what will happen next or why it is being done. She is able to drug his drink and, as she leaves the party, she witnesses the effects of the substance she put in his drink: the partner has a seizure and dies as she is leaving the party.

Now Bree is complicit in a murder, and she still does not have her child. Who has taken Robert? Why did the kidnapper take him? What else will Bree be asked to do to get him back?

In Joshilyn Jackson’s latest novel, Mother May I, she provides a top-notch thriller with the highest of stakes, along with ruminations about economic disparity, toxic masculinity, and the fierce protective impulse of a mother for her children. The circumstance presented is truly terrifying and the causes for the abduction, as they are revealed and unraveled, are equally upsetting. Jackson also illustrates how shared experiences can create bridges in even the most dramatic of conditions. Joshilyn Jackson delivers a page-turner that will have readers on the edge of their seats from the very first page.

Read an interview with the author here.