Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson @JoshilynJackson @WmMorrowBooks #familydrama @NetGalley @JanBelisle @absltmom

Jan and I were ever so surprised that we found this book to be our kind of reading. It offered us great discussions and gave a balanced and incisive look at those who live on both sides of the tracks. It was one that got us thinking that perhaps no matter how hard one tries, you can’t escape from where you come from. Deep down inside it is an intrinsic part of your persona, and one that has made you the way you are.

Mother May I

Jan’s review

There will always be the haves and the have-nots. But what happens when a have-not marries a one-percenter? Down deep, who do they identify with? 

Bree grew up poor, but marries Trey, a successful lawyer, and the marriage is a good one. They have two teen-age daughters and a new baby son, Robert. But their idyllic life comes to an end when Robert is kidnapped while Bree is momentarily distracted at her daughter’s play rehearsal. The terror Bree feels is palpable. Her mother warned her that the world was a scary place and danger lurks everywhere, but Bree shrugged off her mother’s anxieties. Until now.  

As Bree waits for the ransom note that never comes, she discovers something far more sinister awaits her. She must complete a task, one that will have repercussions she can’t imagine. The past catches up with her and there are revelations and secrets that will be revealed. The motive for the kidnapping is a major plot point and I won’t ruin it by saying too much.

This was quite the page-turner. I found myself opening my phone’s kindle app whenever I had a few moments, which was a refreshing change from recent books that I struggled to finish. I loved Bree, who stopped at nothing in order to get her child back.

I appreciate a book that makes me think. It doesn’t matter if it’s a weighty book or a lighter one. This is what I like to call a lighter read with substance. There are subjects that bear serious discussion. Why is there such disdain for girls from the ‘other side of the tracks’? Why is character judged based on  income and background? Is it possible for people to change, and Is it fair to be judged for a misdeed when young? What makes one worthy of forgiveness? What reparations, if any, are  appropriate?  Can we ever truly see our past with clarity or do we color in the blurry lines only with what we want to see? Finally, how do you reconcile the person you know today with their unsavory past? 

For some people one event can completely change their life’s trajectory. There are no second chances. For others it’s easy to write these events off as a youthful indiscretion, and move on.  How complicit are we as a society in deciding who gets a consequence and who gets none? Who is believed? The person with wealth and power or the person with neither?

This is a tightly plotted domestic thriller that will make you ponder the issues raised. The ending was a bit tidier than I like, but it’s a minor complaint I can forgive because this book made me think. This was a buddy read with Marialyce, one that inspired great discussions.

I’ve enjoyed the author’s Southern fiction and with this, her second thriller, she has proven herself to be capable of crossing genres. 

·      I received an audiobook via NetGalley. The author narrates and is excellent.

·      I received a digital e-book via Edelweiss

·      Publication date April 6, 20121 by William Morrow

Marialyce’s review

Bree is what many would claim, a lucky woman. Married to Trey, a very successful lawyer, a man she loves, having three children she is able to dote on, a gorgeous home in a prestigious neighborhood, and realistically everything her heart desires. It’s a prefect scenario, until it isn’t.

One day while watching her daughter’s practice performance for a play, her young baby son is snatched from her, and of course Bree is out of her mind with worry and guilt. She waits for a phone call asking for ransom money, but when the call comes, it’s not money the kidnapper wants. The kidnapper asks for something else, something sinister, something Bree struggles to do, but yet she does.

As the story continues down a path that was engrossing, frightening, and terror filled for Bree, she uncovers things that make her look at not only herself but also the man she loves. She will do anything to get her son back, and in reality, the anything that is asked is one that compromises not only her moral code but places the lives of her husband and son in dire jeopardy.

This book really dug into my heart as I identified with what mothers will do for their children. Bree was an intrepid character, one that we admire for her strength determination, and courage. She grapples with events not only that of her missing son, but also with an event that was ghastly and pushed her into a time she was hoping she buried. The trappings of the wealthy who were able to live a beautiful life, can’t escape a deed that was done in the past and brings up the salient point of should one be held accountable for their actions when they were still considered to be a teenager?

We all make stupid decisions, ones we were never want to come to light, ones that would make us ashamed, ones that we thought were never to see the light of day. For Bree and Trey, a momentary scene of madness becomes the impetus that drives their lives, and puts what was once thought of as undying love to the ultimate test.

As mentioned above this was a definite thought-provoking book that still to this day even after turning the last page, has me wondering and thinking what would I have done? Would I have followed the path Bree took or would I have gone another way and arrived at a destination that deprived me of my very heart?

Thank you to Joshilyn Jackson, William Morrow Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this engrossing book due out April 6, 2021.

and here’s the author:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson’s latest book, Mother May I, is available for pre-order now wherever books are sold. You can check out her previous nine novels and other writing here. Joshilyn’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year award, have three times been the #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction.

A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of both her own novels and other writers’ books. Her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, included on AudioFile Magazine’s best of the year list, won three Earphones Awards, made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publishers Weekly.

She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit that runs education-in-prison and reentry programs. Reforming Arts fosters critical and creative thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives both during and post-incarceration. Through this organization, Joshilyn has taught creative writing, composition, and literature inside Georgia’s maximum security facility for women.

Joshilyn lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her family, two entitled cats, and a modestly-sized dog.

6 thoughts on “Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson @JoshilynJackson @WmMorrowBooks #familydrama @NetGalley @JanBelisle @absltmom

  1. Joshilyn Jackson has become one of my favorite authors. It’s amazing that she can write compelling Southern fiction as well as mysteries with depth. Excellent review Marialyce. I’m so glad we both loved it and enjoyed discussing the meaty issues raised!

    Liked by 2 people

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