Friday 25 December 2015

Book ~ "What Was Mine" (2016) Helen Klein Ross

From GoodreadsLucy 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. 

There's nothing Lucy wants more than a baby.  Unfortunately it doesn't happen for her and her husband and eventually they split up.  From then on, Lucy focuses on her career.  She is in IKEA one day and comes across a four-month-old baby in a shopping cart.  She looks around for the mother but doesn't find her.  With good intentions, she takes the baby toward the customer service desk to let them know she found the baby ... but keeps on going to her car.  She tells everyone that she adopted Mia, the baby, from a teenager in Kansas and raises her as her own and Mia lacked for nothing.

Marilyn is shopping at IKEA and gets distracted by a phone call.  After the call, she realizes that Natalie, her baby she has left in a shopping cart, has disappeared.  Her life and marriage fall apart and she eventually moves to California where she starts a new life with a husband and three children.  But she never gave up hope that she would find Natalie.

When she is 21, Mia/Natalie discovers the truth and is devastated.  She heads to California to get to know her mother and her family.  Lucy takes off to China, where there are no extradition laws, to avoid prosecution.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I enjoyed it.  I thought it was an interesting topic and I thought the author handled it well.

I liked the writing style.  It is written in first person perspective with a shifting point of view ... Lucy, Mia, Marilyn, Wendy (Mia's nanny), Tom (Mia's father), Grant (Marilyn's husband), etc.  The names are at the top of the chapter so you know whose voice it is.

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