Bree is 38 years old, she uses canvas bags, she’s a former board member of several charities, and she’s a doting mother to two teenage daughters and a “surprise” infant son.
Her perfect life is shattered when she looks away for just a moment, and her son is taken.
The phone rings: “Go home. Tell no one. Do not call the police. Do not call your husband. Be at your house by 5:15pm or he’s gone for good.”
It’s a fairly standard (if horrifying) opening, but Jackson has a few surprises in store for readers of her latest, Mother May I. The wonderful team at Bloomsbury were kind enough to send me a copy for review.
The prose of Mother May I, and the twists in its premise, are a marked improvement on Jackson’s last novel (Never Have I Ever). This time around, she veers into territory I now think of as the “#MeToo novel”, where women’s anger and desire for vengeance is centered.
The violence is not gratuitous, the sexual exploitation is not milked, but the stakes are high and women lead the charge.
The ending is perhaps a little neat, but that was a forgivable comfort after a heart-pumping climax.
It’s wonderful to see Jackson hitting her stride as an author of compelling suburban thrillers.