Review: What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

25111142Title: What Was Mine
Author: Helen Klein Ross
Publication Date: Jan, 5, 2015
Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Pages: 320
Genre: Women's Fiction
Review: ebook provided by author and NetGalley
Buy Links: Amazon, 

Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.
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.
Author Helen Klein Ross, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, weaves a powerful story of upheaval and resilience told from the alternating perspectives of Lucy, Mia, Mia’s birth mother, and others intimately involved in the kidnapping. What Was Mine is a compelling tale of motherhood and loss, of grief and hope, and the life-shattering effects of a single, irrevocable moment.

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

Wow is about all I can truly say it blew me away how the main character Lucy could be okay with her actions. This story is every parent's worse nightmare come to life. When your child is stolen what do you do? How do you move on? 
We get very many different points of views in this story and I was glad that it wasn't confusing. We get to know each part of the story of what happened, what they went through, their feelings and so forth through each person that was involved in both Lucy, Mia and Marilyn's life. 
This is one of those stories that break your heart because not only do you feel for the kidnapper but you for sure feel for the mother that has had her child stolen from her. 
With each character minus Natalie/Mia you go from liking some of their decisions to hating some of their decisions. 
Lucy- I felt for you not being able to have kids but damn girl what you did was horrible. Though I have to say you turned out to be a good mother to someone else's baby. 
Marilyn- It was amazing to see how she changed over time but for the better. Though it was sad to see how her marriage was affected it was good to see that she had something better coming her way. Marilyn I felt really grew as a character she was able to deal with her loss in a healthy way and not in a unhealthy way.  
Natalie/Mia- When she found out the truth I have to say she handled it very well, and I liked how she had compassion towards Lucy even though she knows what she did was wrong. 
The author in my opinion did a great job with details and how you wanted to be so mad and upset with Lucy that at times you were but in the back of your mind, you keep saying she just wants a child. 
I know when folks read this review I know people are going to say she thinks it was okay for Lucy to kidnap. I am not saying that, I truly believe NO child should EVER be kidnapped.
I really recommend this book for all to read. It is heartbreaking and healing all wrapped up together.

The only reason I gave this book a four and not a solid five is because of the ending I wanted to know what exactly happened to Lucy. 

Helen Klein Ross
Helen's poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, literary journals and in anthologies, including SHORT, published in 2014 by Persea Books. Her first novel, Making It: A Novel of Madison Avenue, was published as an e-book in 2013 by Gallery/Simon and Schuster. Her debut novel What Was Mine, will be published in January 2016.
Helen is also the creator and editor of a poetry anthology, The Traveler's Vade Mecum, forthcoming next year from Red Hen Press. Over 80 poets-- including Frank Bidart, David Lehman and Billy Collins-- wrote to titles from an 1853 compendium that provides a glimpse into habits and social aspects of nineteenth-century America.

Helen lives in New York City and Salisbury, Connecticut where she is on the board of a haven for book lovers: Scoville Memorial Library.


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