It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book offered such an original idea and fresh perspective. What Was Mine had me up and reading at 4am. As a parent, reading a book about a baby’s kidnapping is always unsettling. Most of us have experienced at least one brief moment of terror when our eyes weren’t quick enough in their search for our children. Most of us are lucky enough to have feeling quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of relief when, in short order, we realize he/she had been right there all along, just an arm’s length away. Marilyn was not that lucky.
Lucy had been trying for a baby for quite a while when she was married. Now she has a bit of an obsession with Ikea. There she finds a baby whose mother has turned her back for just a few seconds too many. She kidnaps said baby but deludes herself into thinking that at some point soon she’ll find a way to return her. She’s in denial of her actions and the severity of the consequences which I found to be a little infuriating. She is a woman we would expect to know better – professional, no other implied behavioral health issues or criminal tendencies… She raises Mia as her own for 21 years until Lucy learns the truth through a series of serendipitous coincidences and events.
One thing I loved about this book is that it’s not meant to be a mystery. There’s no whodunnit. We know right out the gate what’s happened. What we don’t know is where it leaves everyone in their relationships. Will Marilyn be able to forgive Lucy? Could she ever accept that Mia may feel anything other than hatred toward Lucy? Will Mia ever feel as though she belongs with her birth family? Can her siblings accept her? Will Mia ever be able to feel secure in her sense of identity? The author really gets to the heart of the matter by telling us the story through the eyes of many of the characters including Lucy, Marilyn, Mia, Lucy’s sister, Mia’s nanny, and others. The pieces of the puzzle put themselves together perfectly through these narratives.
The only thing that prevents me from giving this book 5 stars is the ending. It was rather abrupt and didn’t give me a sense of being fully complete. I would be surprised if this book doesn’t become a very popular read, even a best-seller in 2016.
My rating: 4.5 stars
Many thanks to Gallery books via NetGalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.