Thursday, December 15, 2016

What was mine by Helen Klein Ross

This book has been published under two different titles - in the United States it was published as What was mine, and in the United Kingdom it was published as Someone else's child.  As I read the American edition I have published the review under that title.

Lucy Wakefield never intended to kidnap a baby, it was moment of concern that lead to the unthinkable as she walked away with someone else's baby.  That simple act was born out of desperation for a child of her own that was never meant to be, and mother's moment of carelessness.   For years Lucy raises the baby as her own, a few carefully calculated acts hiding the fact that baby Mia didn't come into her life in the legal way.

Told mainly through the voices of Lucy, Mia, and Mia's birth mother Marilyn it is a deeply personal and heart wrenching story of loss, discovery, and the many different faces of loss and grief.  Other voices join the narrative at different times, showing a different perspective on the story, adding to the impressions and memories of Lucy and Mia.  This is an emotional read, and breaking the story up into chunks of time with different voices was actually a relief - especially at particularly emotional times for the main characters. 

I was drawn to reading the story after it passed through my hands at the library, the simple cover shows a child's swing and the words What was mine just seemed so heartbreakingly sad.  When I read the blurb I almost put it down again, but decided to read the first page to see if I might be interested - ended up reading the first chapter and promptly ordering a copy for me to read.  It took me a few days to read because it is an emotional powder keg at times, but it was also a very rewarding read in the end - especially with the way the author finished the story.  This is a character driven story and you can't help but connect to the emotions of the characters, and while Lucy should be reviled for kidnapping a child I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

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Reviewed by Brilla

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