Cover Image: Mother May I

Mother May I

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Member Reviews

Mother may I was a great read.  Throughly enjoyable.  This book asks some very big questions, how far will a mother go to protect her family? 
Brilliantly written, characters you could connect with and questions you hope you will never have to ask yourself. Flew through this book. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I had high hopes for this book but sadly, it fell short. It didn't grip me and I found it very unrealistic.
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As my first read by Joshilyn Jackson  and as a reader that was really drawn to the front cover I didn’t have many expectations other than there’s a witch in the book. or rather,  a haggard old lady with no F’s left to give who is out for revenge by way of kidnapping babies.
Now you better believe that mamas are not gonna let that just happen and to hell with the consequences, so our heroine Bree is willing to jump through whatever hoops the ol’ biddy asks of her until it’s time to level up, rope in a few pals, and race that clock to get her boy back.
I could not put the book down and finished it in a day, so… mother may I have another Joshilyn Jackson book please?
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Whose up for a dark and thrilling tale that will shock you to your very core and have you racing through the pages unable to tear yourself away? If you answered “I am”, then this is definitely the book for you. Joshilyn Jackson will take you hostage and will not let you go until the very last page in her latest thriller Mother May I.

This is only my second read from Joshilyn Jackson and once again she had me glued to the pages as she took me into the story alongside its lead Bree, where we both got caught up in a dangerous game where the stakes could not be any higher. It is amazing what a mother is willing to do when faced with the unthinkable.

I really liked Bree and found that I could resonate with her. You could feel her fear and pain through the prose as she is caught up in her worst nightmare. I enjoyed how she took matters into her own hands, enlisting the help from an investigator friend as she learns about her sons kidnapper and why her family became a target for them.

Mother May I has shades of a gothic fairytale, is thought provoking, compelling and very addictive. The plot is strong and offers great characterisation, the writing is flawless and captivating as it draws you in. A very enjoyable and entertaining read all round, I look forward to reading what Joshilyn Jackson comes up with for her readers next.

Thank you to Joshilyn Jackson, Raven Books and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of Mother May I, which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believable.
Great suspense and found myself second guessing every thought I had continuously.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own honest voluntary review.
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EXCERPT: The dynamite piled around the car seat was old. Very old. So old it was sweating, and the papery layers had begun peeling away. It must be as unstable as all hell, and there was a lot of it, stacked in a horseshoe around the baby.

ABOUT 'MOTHER MAY I': Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned by her single mother that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected her mother’s fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of: a loving lawyer husband, two talented teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world.

Until the day she awakens and sees a witch peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her.

Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. 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.

The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price, making her complicit in a tangled web of tragedy and shocking secrets that could destroy everything she loves. It is the beginning of an odyssey that will lead Bree to dangerous places, explosive confrontations, and chilling truths.

MY THOUGHTS: Mother May I is the second book that I have read by this author. The second book by this author that I have just hoovered up, reading it in less than twenty-four hours. The second book that has made me breathless, excited, and very vocal as I read. The second book that I am going to go out and buy a physical copy of to put on my shelves.

I loved Bree. She is a strong character, wanting all the available information before she judges or makes decisions. Not an easy task in some of the situations she finds herself. Bree is family oriented. She will do anything to protect her family, and when you know about her past, how she was raised, you can understand why.

I loved the taut plotting in Mother May I. There is something about Jackson's writing that sucks me in at the beginning and spits me out at the end. There are no confusing multiple points of view, or multiple timelines; just a tense, nailbiting, gripping and thrilling story that will keep you wondering just what is going to happen next.

I can't wait to read whatever Joshilyn Jackson produces next.


#MotherMayI #NetGalley

I: @joshilyn_jackson @bloomsburypublishing

T: @JoshilynJackson @BloomsburyPubli

#contemporaryfiction #crime #domesticdrama #mystery #psychologicalthriller #suspense #thriller

THE AUTHOR: Joshilyn Jackson is the author of nine books which have been translated into more than a dozen languages. A former actor, she also reads the audio version of her novels. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her family.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing, Raven Books, via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my profile page or the about page on

This review and others are also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and my webpage
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Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Never Have I Ever I was delighted to receive a copy of this title. I am so pleased I avoided reading the blurb on the book before I started it ... it gives far too much information about the tale to be told.
This was a thoroughly absorbing read ...  the characters were very well drawn and the relationship that develops between Bree and 'the witch' is both fascinating and frightening and adds another dimension to the story.
Time is of the essence and the tension as the story unfolds is palpable.
Another solid 4 star read!
Many thanks to Netgalley/Joshilyn Jackson/Bloomsbury Publishing for a digital copy of this title. All opinions expressed are my own.
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‘Revenge doesn’t wait for permission’

TW: Child Abduction, Kidnapping and Rape

The plot of ‘Mother May I’ grabbed my attention when I read the description- Bree Cabbat is the wife of a wealthy lawyer. She has three children who she absolutely adores and has dedicated her life to. She gave up her dreams of becoming an actress when she married Trey and never regretted it for one moment. Attending her daughter’s school events and activities, her involvement on the board of several non-profit organisations and spending time with her precious newborn son Robert, affectionately nicknamed Bumper; her life is complete. In one terrifying moment, this all changes and Bree finds herself hurled into a mother’s worst nightmare; her son has been kidnapped from right under her nose as she watches her eldest daughter’s rehearsal at school. All that is left is a note telling her to go home and wait for instructions on how she can get her son back. The kidnapping is an act of revenge for events from the past but will Bree and her friend Marshall, be able to figure out who the kidnapper is, why he was taken in the first place and where Robert is before it’s too late?

The novel starts off with a fast pace and the plot is original and dynamic which grabbed my attention. The story is told from the perspective of Bree and Marshall, an ex-cop and long-time friend who secretly harbours feelings for Bree after the death of his wife, Betsy (Bree’s best friend). Divided into three sections- Mothers, Sons and Daughters- the book loses momentum in the second half. The novel has quite a bit of description which weighs down the unfolding story. Events are often told from the perspective of both Marshall and Bree; both describing the episode in detail which also slows down the progress of the narrative. I think the story would have been punchier if it was 50 pages or so shorter.

Interesting plot with a nice twist near the end. Slightly shorter, and it would have been a fabulous and terrifying thriller for any mothers out there!

Thanks to NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for the ARC in return for my honest review.
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Bree knows she is lucky, she has a handsome, loving, rich husband, Trey.Two lovely daughters and a 10 week old boy called Robert.
Her perfect life is shattered when her son is kidnapped, Bree is told to tell no one, go home and wait or she will never see him again. When the kidnapper calls they ask Bree to do just one thing but the consequences of a seemingly easy task will be far reaching, not only for her.How far will she go to get her son back and how much will she risk?
This book asks some very big questions, how far will a mother go to protect her family? How many sacrifices will she be willing to make?
Some parts had me so tense I could barely breathe.
Brilliantly written, characters you could connect with and questions you hope you will never have to ask yourself.
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Thank you Harper Collins and Joshilyn Jackson for an ARC copy of Mother May I

When i started to read the book i found it a bit sugary and didn't think that i would like it, but as i read further into the book it gripped my attention.

Bree is married to a successful lawyer, has the perfect life with her two daughters and newborn son Robert. From growing up poor she now doesn't want for anything. She is a lot younger than her husband who has been married before, but they get along great until Bree wakes one morning a sees a "witch" at her bedroom window.

Later that day Bree sees the same woman at her daughter's school when she goes to help with the refreshments after theatre rehearsals. Whilst Bree is busy the baby vanishes and a note is left in the place where Robert was. It reads that Bree is not to contact the police or deviate from any instructions that she will receive later that day.

As the story unfolds you learn that her husband has a past that has affected the life of the woman and her daughter and that the woman is out for revenge. 

Bree must tread carefully if she is to get Robert back, but at what cost? 

Along the way you learn that another baby has disappeared and the same women is behind his disappearance. People start to die in revenge killings, but what ties them all together? Can Bree get her baby back? But at what cost to her perfect life?

An overall good read
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Bree's baby is kidnapped and she is devastated. She soon learns its an old woman who has her baby. She needs Bree to do something for her then she can have her baby back. Bree agrees but what has she agreed to and why has this woman targetted her. What did her hisband do to lead to this, can she find out and get her baby back. 

Well what a dramatic story this was. Its pulse racing from start to finish as you're never sure what will happen next. The main concept is fairly standard but executed well. Its a familiar story but with an interesting twist of targetting the wife first, The plot is pretty quick but it works with the story, building to a couple of dramatic conclusions. I liked Bree and as a mum could easily relate to her suffering. The only thing I wasn't keen on was the aftermath epilogue. I could see how it fitted with the story but I personally felt it rushed in and just didnt quite work to end the story but that might just be me. Other than that it was a strong, solid thriller.
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Another gripping and fantastically written story by Joshilyn Jackson! Grabbed me from the beginning and kept me guessing until the very end! Would definitely recommend!
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This book had great beginning that drew me straight in, but I felt it lost momentum about halfway though and became a bit too unbelievable.
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Every mothers’ worst nightmare happens when Bree’s baby son is snatched from under her nose. She suspects it was the witch-like woman she saw in her garden the night before and the chase is on to follow the kidnapper’s  instructions to get the baby back – which means no police involvement and some illegal doings of Bree’s own. 
This is a tense book, where we find out a mother can have more than one worst nightmare. We also learn the lengths a mother will go to in order to protect her own child, whatever their age, and that the need for revenge on the people who hurt their child might never go away. 
I enjoyed learning about the background of each character, and how Bree build a relationship with the kidnapper, based on their common earlier lives. A good read.
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A great beginning but seemed to go downhill halfway for me and hard to believe.

Bree has grown up poor and married well with a lovely home and family when her baby goes missing, left with a message that if she wanted her baby back she would have to do certain things but not tell the police.

I found this hard to believe a old woman in the last stages of cancer with not long to live can go out and kidnap a baby cope with feeding and changing it while breaking in Bree`s house and leaving messages.

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review
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Even though I am probably getting a bit tired of books where a baby/child goes missing, as it really is becoming an overused trope, I'm glad that I gave this the benefit of the doubt and read it.
This was a really gripping thriller that had plenty of great twists and turns and kept me on the edge of my seat throughout.
I also enjoyed the writing style and the ways in which it dealt with quite serious subject matter.
It did drag in parts, which is why I had to give it 4 stars instead of anything higher.
But Joshilyn Jackson is definitely now one of those authors where I will read anything that she releases.
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A book that starts off at a fast pace and continues throughout !! 

Bree is watching her girls rehearse for the school play when she turns round to find her baby boy has vanished.  She only turned her back for a moment but there is no trace of him.  Suddenly she spots a note telling her not to call the police or her husband but to go home or she will never see her son again.

Bree races home and finds a phone waiting for her.  The kidnapper gives her strict instructions that Bree must carry out if she ever wants to see her son again.

What follows is a fast paced thriller that will have you hooked throughout.  A story about trust, love, lies, relationships  and so much more, and shows you how a mistake in the past can come back to effect your future !!  

If you are anything like me you will be cheering Bree on from the sidelines hoping she can not only save her son but also save herself.  This really is a book to read if you love thrillers !!

Thank you to Bloomsbury Publishing and NetGalley for a digital copy of this book.
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3.5 stars rounded down to 3

**TRIGGER WARNING** this story contains child abduction, sexual assault and rape.

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned by her single mother that the world was a dark and creepy place. Bree rejected her mother's fearful outlook and life has  proved  her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power and connections, Bree now has everything a woman could ever dream of: a loving lawyer husband, two talented teenage daughters, a new baby boy and a gorgeous home. Until the day she awakens and sees a witch peering through the window - an old grey haired woman dressed all in black and vanishes as quickly as she appeared.

This is a twisted and suspenseful story about a woman whose baby is kidnapped. The kidnapper doesn't want money, they want Bree to complete a task. The story revolves around getting her baby son back. The story can be a little far fetched and secrets are revealed. The story is told by Bree in the first person and Marshall in the third person. The pace is fast. This is a tense domestic thriller with quite dark undertones. I felt the ending was a little disappointing.
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This is a very engrossing domestic mystery with some genuinely tense moments and entertaining twists and terms.  Recommended.
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Despite a poor upbringing, Bree Cabbat now has a good life. Mainly due to marrying into money but she has still stuck to her morals instilled into her growing up. But one day, she awakens to see the face of a strange old woman staring in at her bedroom window. Sort of blink and you'll miss it kinda of experience. Trick of the light, rogue shadow, still dreaming, or something more strange...? That same day Bree is helping out at her daughters' school when she sees the same old woman in the carpark. and then, one inside the school, she is distracted a moment and then turns back to see her baby son has vanished, a note in his place telling her to follow the instructions she will be given and not to tell the authorities...
But who is this woman and what does she want? Bree only knows that she will do anything to get her son back. But when she finds out what the woman wants her to do she is caught... and then when the small part she has to play in things escalates... well...!
And so begins a cat and mouse game of intrigue which dates back to when some of the characters were very young and not really aware of the consequences of their possible actions. I really don't want to say any more for fear of spoiling things. The first part of the book is really more scene setting and foundation building but it never really drags. It's also quite important to build up the layers of intrigue so the author can have fun smashing them down in the later part of the book.
I really felt for Bree. So much along the way. As her world starts to all crumble. As she turns to an old friend to help her. As she learns more than she wants about her husband - absent for the majority of the book - working away. Oh my.
And the ending. Well. That ticked all the boxes for me. It wasn't the only way the author could have gone - but, after some contemplation, the best way for all concerned. It was a tad on the rushed side but hey, the rest of the book was so good I can forgive this. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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