There is nothing I love more than a good thriller and What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross did not disappoint. Part thriller, part drama this novel has many layers but centers around a women who is unable to have children and kidnaps an infant who she initially thinks is abandoned. At first glance, as a mother, I was disturbed by this storyline but Ross creates a novel that kept the pages turning, the reader in wonder and then ultimately questioning everything you thought you had your mind made up about. What is wrong and what is right?
The story centers around Lucy who finds out she is unable to have a baby. After this devastating news and the demise of her marriage she is in a bad place. One day while on assignment for work she travels into an Ikea. There she comes upon a baby in a carriage who is all alone. Lucy looks around and sees no parent in site. The baby is hot and from what Lucy can see a little distressed. Lucy decides that the best idea would be to take the baby outside for some fresh air and then go back into the store to look for the parents. Once she is outside the wheels start to turn fast and Lucy does the unthinkable. She takes the baby into her car and drives back to her house. All the while this is happening she is fighting the inner struggle of taking the baby back or the idea of keeping her . She eventually decides to keep her and raise her on her own.
As the story develops the baby wasn’t abandoned and the search for her kidnapper begins. Lucy basically creates a whole new life for the baby, changing her name from Natalie to Mia and moving their home from the suburbs into the city. As the years go on they form a bond of mother and daughter much like biological parents. As each year passes Lucy, still high on anxiety knowing this isn’t her baby, can’t believe she has made it this far. Eventually Mia reaches adulthood and Lucy makes a bold move in her career writing a novel that will change everything.
This book is the perfect compliment to a cold winters night. As I mentioned before I was left so conflicted and with so many questions. For me this would be a great book for a sequel, where are they now? Ross depicts motherhood so beautifully in a situation that is so devastating. This book would be an excellent book club pick as you are questioning ethical decisions in the end. I highly recommend What Was Mine and if you do read it I would love to start a discussion in the comments below. Happy Reading!
*Thanks to Gallery Books for sending a review copy.