what was mine book coverReviewed by Meg Massey

Lucy has been trying to have a baby for so long, that it’s driven her to obsession. When her husband leaves her, her dreams of having a baby seem even more distant. Then one day, she walks in to an Ikea, and notices a baby left alone in a cart. Convincing herself that she’s only offering some comfort to the child, she can’t believe it when she finds herself in her car, leaving with someone else’s baby.

This shocking moment is just the first of many in Helen Klein Ross’ engrossing tale, What Was Mine. The author brilliantly weaves together the stories of Lucy, her stolen daughter Mia, and Mia’s birth mother, Marilyn. The author also reveals the tales of other characters that play a part in the lives of these three women, including Mia’s caretakers, Marilyn’s family members and Lucy’s sister, Cheryl.

Marilyn and her husband navigate a terrible time of loss after their four month old daughter’s disappearance, and as years pass, begin to lose hope that they will reconnect with her. A strange occurrence leads Marilyn to reach out to Mia, unraveling the elaborate lies that Lucy has told for over twenty years. Will Mia leave Lucy behind and never look back, or will she find a way to forgive the woman that stole her life all those years ago? Can she figure out who she is after realizing her life has been built on lies?

What Was Mine is a haunting tale of desperation, love and loss, of motherhood and the complexity of relationships. This is one book I had trouble putting down, and devoured in less than a few days. Brilliantly told from the perspectives of multiple individuals, I found myself torn, unsure of the ending that I wanted for this story. The ending is a somewhat satisfying one, thought a bit rushed, and in some ways, incomplete. If you’re looking for an interesting story, this is one for you.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Meg lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, Ryan. Library professional by day, freelance writer by night, Meg writes about life, entertainment and everything in between.

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