Contemporary Fiction

What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

What Was Mine

I read this a few years ago and want to share one of my best, earlier reads from before I created this space  

Lucy Wakefield finds 4-month old Natalie Featherstone unattended in a shopping cart in a superstore in suburban New Jersey. In a split second, she makes a decision that will forever change the lives of so many people.

I wanted to hate Lucy and I did. While the heat of that emotion dimmed some after getting to know her better, I never could reconcile how one woman can decide her pain means more than another woman’s. How can your desire for a child make it okay to take someone else’s baby who’s obviously cared for and loved?

This story wrecked me as we’re given extraordinary insight into the wide-ranging impact of a baby abduction, short and long term. My emotional upset only intensified once baby Natalie-now-adult Mia learns the truth. Now what? There’s not much that’s predictable here and some really important themes run rampant…motherhood, grief, forgiveness, family, loyalty, justice.

While the beginning felt a little slow paced, it subtly lays the foundation for what comes next and becomes very important. My recommendation is to just be patient because it all matters. This story is fascinating and provocative, ideal for book clubs and online group discussions. I encouraged my friends to read it right away so I could talk about it! My only complaint is the ending…I wanted just a little bit more but I think the author got it right, despite my feelings. There are no easy resolutions in these situations.

Book Info

  • Release Date: January 5, 2016
  • Page Numbers: 336
  • Publisher: Gallery Books


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18 thoughts on “What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross”

  1. While I appreciate the allure to this kind of story and situation, especially to a woman and mothers alike. I’ve found them to play upon people’s fears. Having lived through an abduction, these books feel like a cheap shot. But maybe, that’s just me.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Alexandra, I really cannot imagine the fear and despair. There’s nothing much worse than a child abduction. I lost my three-year-old nephew for three minutes and cannot remember ever experiencing anything close to the anguish I felt in those moments.


  2. What a controversial and emotional read. While one heinous act can be seen as evil, when you’re faced with reading from that perspective it’s so hard to hate them completely. That said, this theme is one that’s a bit too hard for me to read emotionally. You’ve written a wonderful review for it though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, I think I might end up hating Lucy as well. It does sound like a fascinating and emotional story, there are so many emotions and complexities involved in connection with child abduction. I enjoyed reading your review and you made me curious about the book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! While it was easy to hate Lucy, it was incredibly difficult to just shut my mind off completely from her circumstances. It was kind of like being a juror who might give her a lighter sentence but you’re always going to convict her. I hope you do give this a shot as I’d be interested in your perspective.

      Liked by 2 people

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