Book Review: What Was Mine

*I received a free digital advanced reader’s copy of this book from Gallery Books via NetGalley. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be on sale on Jan. 5, 2016.*

Synopsis from Amazon:

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

Honestly I requested this book on a whim and when I got it I had forgotten what it was about. Despite this I immediately dived in and I was hooked from the very first page.

Told in various point of views, including Lucy’s, the baby girl she kidnaps, and the woman she stole the baby from, Marilyn, you get every angle of this story. There was one quote I loved from this novel about how Lucy doesn’t see things black and white and constantly lives in a gray area. That’s how I felt about this book.

Helen Klein Ross doesn’t choose a side in the novel. She doesn’t tell you who’s right and who’s wrong. She let’s you decide that for yourself. For me, I couldn’t decide. There’s so many aspects to this story and although obviously kidnapping is wrong and doing it was a terrible thing, Lucy was still a good mom who loved her child, and how she came to have her didn’t change that fact.

I really appreciated the little stories and side notes we got in this book as well. Because we’re given so many point of views you really get to see how this kidnapping affects everyone, not just Lucy, Marilyn, and their daughter. Ross also shows us the girl’s nanny’s backstory and both Lucy and Marilyn’s husbands get a chapter or two. We even get a little tidbit from the detective on the case and some chapters from Lucy’s sister, Cheryl.

Although at first I was worried that having all these point of views would make this story confusing and hard to follow it actually did the opposite. By changing the point of view Ross added to the story, filling in blanks the reader didn’t even know needed to be filled. Ross could’ve written this story in third person but instead she gives a first person view of characters that readers may have otherwise ignored but now see how they play a role, whether it’s big or small, in the bigger story.

What Was Mine is definitely a must read. It’ll keep you hooked until the very end and you may even find yourself wanting to know more. Make sure to pick a copy when it’s released on Jan. 5, 2016.

Borrow or Buy: Buy!


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