What Was Mine by: Helen Klein Ross @HelenKleinRoss @GalleryBooks

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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.

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I have read so many terrible stories, both real and fiction, about abduction of children. Stories where children endured unspeakable things. Stories where almost everything and anything has happened…or so I thought. I thought I had read it all knew all the different ways this story could go until I read What Was Mine. What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross was unlike any obduction story I had read to date. It wasn’t different because of the tragedy or even the violence, no What Was Mine was different because it didn’t have any of that.

Was a child stolen? Yes. Was that terrible? Of course. However this little baby in the yellow dress was raised with love and caring and everything to the point she honestly had no idea she was stolen….. Until she did.

Helen Klein Ross spun an emotional and heart wrenching story of the struggle Mia has to go through when she is faced with the truth of what her past is. What Was Mine was a great read that I devoured in one sitting and left me wanting more. It’s definitely a book you should take the time to pick up.

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