Reviewed by Amanda Schafer

A young mother with three children is on a train, going home, when she is separated from her oldest child. The other man on the train kindly says he’ll meet her at the next station with her daughter, but when Rose gets there her daughter and that man are nowhere to be seen.

Lucy has always had a fear of separation, a fear that cripples her when she has to leave any of her loved ones for an extended period of time. The panic sets in and grips her, causing nightmares of a woman screaming. When Lucy’s marriage begins to fall apart, she moves with her daughter to her parents’ home in order to take over their auctioning business. Once there Lucy meets Sarah, a grief-stricken young woman who’s been reclusive since losing her father and son in a car crash.

Sarah and Lucy become fast friends and Sarah comes to work for Lucy at the auction service. Lucy’s daughter, Hanna, meets an older couple, John and his sister Philippa, who have just moved into a cottage down the road. Over time, John and Philippa come to work at the auction service as well. Lucy’s parents, now retired, have decided to travel and get some rest, especially now that Lucy’s mother has taken ill.

Behind the scenes, we see John and Philippa talk of a secret that needs to be revealed. There seems to be something troubling Lucy’s mother, but no one can figure out what it is. And Sarah’s mother has always been emotionally unstable and was prone to long bouts of depression when Sarah and her brother and sister were growing up.

It doesn’t take long to figure out that Lucy is the young child stolen at the beginning of the book. But the reasons for it all, and the aftermath that played out is very cleverly woven into the story. It’s hard to imagine how one would deal with that sort of loss and still be able to go on, and we find out that for many reasons, Sarah’s mother really couldn’t go on. Not completely. Now that the truth has surfaced, they have to figure out if they can create new friendships and, perhaps, become a family once again.

There was one aspect of the kidnapping that wasn’t covered and seemed to be a very important piece to me, and that was how Lucy reacted to being kidnapped. Lucy’s parents die before anyone can question them about the kidnapping and all we have is their letter to Lucy about the incident. However, in that letter there is no mention of Lucy being distraught or upset or sullen or scared…any of which would be acceptable reactions from a young child who’s been taken from her mother. We know, obviously, from Lucy’s reactions as an adult that she was traumatized horribly by the incident and it just would have been nice to see that side of the story from her parents. It was a little irritating to me that they were dropped from the story so easily.

Stolen is the first book by Susan Lewis that I’ve read and it took me a while to get truly interested. The story was a good one and had a very good development of the characters, but I personally felt that it was too long. What was written in 450 pages could have easily been knocked down to 350 while maintaining the quality of the story. There just seemed to be certain parts of the story that weren’t really necessary to the plot. That being said, since this was my first book by Lewis, I would read her other books to give her another chance.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Trafalgar. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.