This is a book that is hard to review, because it simply isn’t black and white. This novel is about a lady who finds a baby left unattended in an IKEA store and walks away with her. Twenty one years later she is caught. This book attempts to tell her story and show us the aftermath.
I’m so conflicted. Yes, what she did was 100% wrong. She never claims it wasn’t. However, the fact of the matter is, it was a “one-off” that would have never happened if the birth mother hadn’t answered a phone call, walked off, and left her baby unattended for several (never really told how long, but I am guessing it was well over 10 minutes, possibly more than 20) minutes.
Facts are, no one is perfect. Especially parents. Even though Lucy (the lady who abducted the child) seemed to want to be a parent above all else, it’s pretty evident to me that she wasn’t the best mother. Yes, she needed to support herself and her *daughter*, but it seemed pretty obvious to me that she was a very career oriented person. Much of the raising was left to the nanny. Having said that, she provided a good life and did, in fact, love the child. I do believe she didn’t attend to take the child and as the minutes ticked by one by one, she found herself unable (and unwilling) to correct the situation…
I would also like to point out that the birth mother….well, there’s no two ways about it. I didn’t like her character. As hard as I tried, I just couldn’t find her believable. She was just too over the top and wholesome for me to deal with. Going on and on about placing soothing drops on pillows to help her reunited daughter sleep easier through the night, sessions of throwing rocks and yelling into the wind to cleanse out bad feelings, taking her (now adult) daughter to sessions to have her charted and palms read. Yes, I’m sure these people exist in life…but if I was that daughter, I would have been very weirded out by her.
Finally, why the book was full of so much grey matter for me was the daughter. She made the book worth reading. Once she started reflecting on her life and the guilt she felt for loving a woman who provided so much for her….when she started wondering how different her life would have been….well, you can imagine…having to feel guilty about loving someone…well it must be a terrible feeling to have. Then trying to come to terms with that love, with the guilt, and being glad she had the life she had and not the one she was taken from….well, again, her story and her hurt is what made the entire book a worthwhile read for me….
Until next time…
ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review
Buy it now What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross