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Mother May I
Cover of Mother May I
Mother May I
A Novel
Borrow Borrow

"Chilling, thought-provoking, and hauntingly written, Mother May I kept me on the edge of my seat with its breathless race against time." –Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl from Widow Hills

"A master of domestic suspense." —Entertainment Weekly

The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever builds on her success with this addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—a chilling and thoughtful tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways.

Revenge doesn't wait for permission.

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.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

"Joshilyn Jackson does it again with this explosive, white-knuckle read about a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her family. Terrifying, timely and thought-provoking."—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Mrs.

"Chilling, thought-provoking, and hauntingly written, Mother May I kept me on the edge of my seat with its breathless race against time." –Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl from Widow Hills

"A master of domestic suspense." —Entertainment Weekly

The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever builds on her success with this addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—a chilling and thoughtful tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways.

Revenge doesn't wait for permission.

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.

Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart?

"Joshilyn Jackson does it again with this explosive, white-knuckle read about a mother who will stop at nothing to protect her family. Terrifying, timely and thought-provoking."—Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Other Mrs.

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About the Author-
  • JOSHILYN JACKSON is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of ten other novels, including gods in Alabama and Never Have I Ever. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages. A former actor, Jackson is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 25, 2021
    Bree Cabbat, the narrator of this gripping domestic thriller from bestseller Jackson (Never Have I Ever), is luxuriating in a life beyond anything she imagined growing up poor in the Georgia sticks—until her infant son is snatched at a musical performance she brings him to at the exclusive Atlanta private school her two teenage daughters attend. After demanding that Bree not contact either law enforcement or husband Trey, a wealthy and socially prominent attorney who’s out of town on business, the kidnapper makes it clear she’s seeking not money but to settle some sort of personal score. When following the woman’s initial instructions goes horrifically wrong, a desperate Bree reaches out for help to a lifelong friend, a former Atlanta detective turned investigator at Trey’s firm. As the intrepid, sympathetic pair scramble to suss out the kidnapper’s identity, they make some extremely disturbing discoveries that could blow up the life Bree loves. A few of the final twists come off as far-fetched, but the dark secret at the novel’s heart rings all too true. Jackson knows how to ratchet up the suspense. Agent: Caryn Karmatz Rudy, DeFiore and Co.

  • AudioFile Magazine When Bree glimpses someone she can only describe as a witch peeping through her window, her status as a wealthy, secure stay-at-home mom goes to war with her childhood self. She grew up poor and was continually warned about the world's dangers. Joshilyn Jackson's passionate narration highlights her superb story of child abduction. She catapults listeners into Bree's perspective when she is given the impossible task of following the instructions of her child's kidnapper while ensuring the rest of her family's safety. Jackson fully delivers Bree's frantic state of mind, especially as she repeats directions she's given by phone in garbled tones. Switching between the voices of the shrill-voiced Bree and the creepy, shushing abductor, Jackson captures the all the terror of a mother trying to save her child. A.L.C. � AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine
  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2021
    A woman is compelled to commit murder in order to save her kidnapped baby. Bree may not have planned every detail of her life--such as, surprise! her infant son, Robert--but she's pretty content with what she has: two older daughters who dote on the baby; a loving husband, Trey, with a profitable, stable job; all the trappings of an upper-class life. Having grown up without much money or stability, she knows all too well how one cannot take such gifts for granted. When she's haunted one day by several sightings of a creepy old lady, she writes it off as anxiety due to lack of sleep. Later, safe behind the walls of her daughters' private school, she is horrified to turn around and find Robert missing. A note makes it clear that he has been taken by this same old woman. The woman's motivation is murky at first, but her request is clear: Bree must help her take revenge on one of Trey's colleagues, a notorious womanizer, by slipping him some drugged alcohol--or her baby will die. Caught in this devil's bargain, Bree does as she asks, and the man dies a terrible death. Soon, it becomes apparent that he is not the only one in the old woman's sights: She wants to punish those responsible for hurting her own daughter many years ago, and she has evidence that Trey was involved. Bree must do everything she can to save her baby while also, with the help of a handsome neighbor, investigating her husband's past, knowing that time is ticking away for Robert and for the truth about what happened one night, long ago, between two fraternity boys, a girl, and the third boy who witnessed the crime. Despite the rather melodramatic, hard-to-believe premise, the tension is skillfully built. A thriller with a sharp #MeToo edge that examines how "one wild night" can have terrible consequences.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    April 1, 2021
    Mother-daughter relationships take center stage in Jackson's (Never Have I Ever, 2019) latest novel, which digs into how far each will go for the other. Refusing to acquiesce to her mother's pessimistic world view, Bree Cabbat stepped from the wrong side of the tracks into the life of her dreams. She has everything she ever wanted, until her baby boy disappears. The old woman who has taken Robert assures Bree that he'll be returned as soon as Bree performs an errand for her, but when the small task doesn't go as planned, Bree is forced to connect with the kidnapper as a mother if she hopes to see Robert again. Suspense readers will enjoy plot twists and motivations that hit close to home (despite a somewhat predictable ending), but the novel's depth lies in exploring the role of a mother to protect and teach her children. Are we destined to remain our mother's child, surrounded by her protection, no more responsible to others than she taught us? Fans of Mary Kubica and Hank Phillippi Ryan will appreciate the mixture of suspense with complex characters.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Mother May I
A Novel
Joshilyn Jackson
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