Tag Archives: William Morrow & Co.

Review: Mother May I

Mother May I

Mother May I
By Joshilyn Jackson
William Morrow, 9780062855343, April 2021, 336pp.

The Short of It:

Motherhood can be tough. You try to do all the right things for your children, and you certainly go out of your way to keep them from harm, but sometimes their well-being is out of your control.

The Rest of It:

Bree Cabbat lives a pretty decent life. She has a nice home, her husband Trey is successful and that success allows her to spend time with her three children. Although she grew up poor and had dreams of being in the theater some day, her life is pretty good the way it is and she can’t complain.

One day, while attending her daughter’s rehearsal, she sets her son down in his baby seat and when she turns around, he’s gone. The school’s auditorium was empty. Who could have taken him? But then she is reminded of a strange woman she saw. She wasn’t entirely sure at the time if she was really there, lurking outside her bedroom window or if she had been dreaming it but when she sees the note where her baby used to be, she immediately knows that woman’s appearance was no coincidence.

As the details emerge, it’s clear that this is more than just a kidnapping for ransom set-up. This is personal and Bree, although desperate to find her son, realizes that she is going to have to play the game in order to get him back. Can she do that? Can she go along with this crazy woman’s demands? Can she do what she is being asked to do for the sake of her child? Would you?

This is a race-against-time story so once you pick it up, you will continue to flip those pages until you know how the story ends. I have now read at least three of Jackson’s books and two things are certain, she knows how to pull a reader in and knows how to tell a story. Mother May I has the added benefit of relaying a message and making a statement. This was rather important to me so I am glad she chose to go there even though perhaps the book could have been edited down a bit.

At this writing, Mother May I is scheduled to hit the shelves in April but the review copy has been glaring at me for weeks so I couldn’t wait anymore and had to read it. If you’ve read Jackson before then you know her books are a sure thing but if you haven’t read her yet, give her try.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Distant Dead

The Distant Dead

The Distant Dead
By Heather Young
William Morrow, 9780062690814, June 2020, 352pp.

The Short of It:

A really good story, but not at all what I expected going into it.

The Rest of It:

A math teacher is found dead. His body, burned beyond recognition. Young Sal, one of his students makes the grisly discovery. The police determine it’s a homicide but no one has a clue how a mild mannered school teacher could be killed in this manner. Adam Merkel was fairly new to the area. Having only been there for seven months, no one had really gotten to know the man, except maybe Sal, who spent his lunches in Merkel’s classroom as a way to escape the schoolyard bullies and his loneliness and sadness over his mother’s death a year earlier.

This is a sad, tragic story. Although Merkel’s murder is front and center, the loss of Sal’s mother and the tragedy that Merkel faced before his death ties these two characters together in a very special way. When I picked this book up, I thought it was a murder mystery, and although there is a murder to solve, there is a lot more going on in the story than you would imagine.

Sal is a complex kid. He’s mature and able to feel and see things that a child his age might not normally notice. To escape the foster care system after his mother’s death, he’s forced to live with his two wayward uncles. One has an anger problem and the other is a drug dealer. They don’t seem to pay him any mind, as evidenced by his clothing that is too small or the fact that he never has enough to eat. So when Merkel takes a liking to the boy and provides support and friendship that Sal so desperately needs, Sal finds that he will do anything for the man.

Just so you know, there is NO, absolutely NO child molestation in this story. It might seem like that is where this story is headed so I wanted to tell you not to fear, this is not that kind of story. Instead it’s a story about pain and loss and friendship and what it means to be a family.

I enjoyed this story quite a bit.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.