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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

This is a book about maternal need, motherly love, and unimaginable loss.. Two mothers, one child, so many lies and secrets.

When my daughter was about three years old, I read a book on child abduction. I was an emotional wreck for months and I vowed to never read another book on the subject. For over 40 years I kept that pledge. Then along came What Was Mine. For some unknown reason, the materials that came with this book did not leave me weak with fear or unable to continue. This promised to be a story of child abduction that, perhaps, I could read.

I read the book in two days. It was interesting, not overly emotional, and beacause it was simply told in all the best ways, a fast read. It was a book about a seemingly unforgivable act, but after 21 years could the unforgivable actually be forgiven? By some, perhaps, but, as in real life, not by all.

Lucy, one of our mothers, never meant to commit a crime, but she did.
Marilyn, our other mother never meant to lose the treasure adored by herself and her husband, but she did. Lives changed, worlds came apart, and worlds came together.

The beauty of this book is the changing points of views. It was good to get into Lucy's mind, Marilyn's heart, and Mia/Natalie's head. It was good to learn to care about the three major characters through their feelings. I think this made the resolution, or non-resolution, more acceptable.

I don't want to give the story away, so suffice it to say there is a baby abduction that goes unsolved for 21 years, then suddenly through actions of the abductor, the crime is solved. So often the story would end here, but it did not. The action continues long enough for us to see how this crime and the solving of it affected the baby, who is a baby no longer. She now has the chance to make some decisions, to decide for herself what is and is not forgivable.

There is no happy, group hug solution. Neither is there a 'thank goodness, she's finally getting what she deserves' solution, but the child, the one most affected has the power to decide the outcome of this crime. How will she decide? Will she choose one over the other? Will she walk away from both and get on with her life.

This was an unexpectedly good read. I recommend it.
I received an ebook of this novel from New Galley.

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