Book Review: Freedom's Child by Jax Miller

Last week I was sent Freedom's Child by Jax Miller to review and I raced through it in days. It's been a while since I've read something so gripping and addictive. The sort of book that you stay up way later than you should do on a work night to finish because it's 100% worth the 'book hangover' the next day. This was definitely one of those books.

The story centers around Freedom Oliver - once known as Nessa Delaney - who has been living in a dead end town in Oregon as a protected witness for the past eighteen years after framing her brother-in-law, Matthew, for her husband's murder. Freedom gave up her two young children for adoption to a religious couple, Virgil and Carol Paul, believing they'd be safer that way. But it's a decision that haunts her everyday and has led to her life spiraling into alcoholism, crime, depression and even plans to commit suicide.

She keeps tabs on her, now grown up, kids from afar and when she finds that her daughter Rebekah has gone missing she heads off to Kentucky (where her kids were raised) to try and track her down. But there are some dark and dangerous secrets surrounding the Paul family waiting for her and to make matters worse, Matthew Delaney has just been released from prison and is hell bent on getting revenge. Can Freedom find Rebekah or will Matthew get to her first?

When people asked me what I thought of this book, the best adjective I could think of was 'gritty'. It is dark, harrowing and pretty brutal in places. With themes of rape, murder, addiction, religion, prostitution and corruption running throughout, it is a crime thriller that probably isn't for the faint hearted but it does have an underlying feel of redemption which is quite uplifting too. The characters are all superbly and richly written; from the all-American 'good cop' James Mattley to the sadistic Delaney brothers and their grotesque matriarch mother, Lynn - each has depth and a back story of their own.

Freedom herself is the best female protagonist I've read about in a long time. I kind of pictured her as a Beatrix Kiddo type character from Kill Bill - flawed, feisty and willing to risk everything for her kids. With her strength, determination and humour she is the sort of character I was rooting for from the start.

This is a book that will stay with me for a long time after finishing it and I honestly can't recommend it enough. If this is the standard of Jax Miller's debut novel then I can't wait to read her next one!

Thank you to Mumsnet and HarperCollins for sending me this book to review.

See what other Mumsnet Bloggers thought here



  1. Brilliant review. I am still reading this book and it's actually causing me to go to bed early in the evenings so as to read more!

    1. So good isn't it?! Wait til you get to the final few chapters, my heart was in my mouth. Easily one of the best books I've read recently. Enjoy and thank you for commenting :)

  2. Great review, I found the book fascinating, so unlike others I've read! thanks for sharing with #readwithme