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Interesting,
Dramatic,
Insightful

6 reviews

What Was Mine: A Novel
by Helen Klein Ross

Published: 2016-01-05
Paperback : 336 pages
10 members reading this now
21 clubs reading this now
4 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 5 of 6 members
Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ...
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Introduction

Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.

Lucy 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.

Author Helen Klein Ross, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, weaves a powerful story of upheaval and resilience told from the alternating perspectives of Lucy, Mia, Mia’s birth mother, and others intimately involved in the kidnapping. What Was Mine is a compelling tale of motherhood and loss, of grief and hope, and the life-shattering effects of a single, irrevocable moment.

Editorial Review

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Discussion Questions

Suggested by Members

There are many questions for discussion at end of the book. They relate well to story.
Participants can relate their own personal feelings to the characters and how they feel about what happened.
Can relate to actual cases similar to this in real life.
by questforanswers (see profile) 10/28/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by abbymarie330 (see profile) 08/06/19

 
by Ljwagoner (see profile) 12/11/18

A quick moving story of a baby kidnapped at 4 months of age. The story is told thru cleverly written vignettes by characters essential to the plot. I couldn’t put this down. P. 329 “When you forgive,... (read more)

 
by puzzled66 (see profile) 01/21/17

 
  "what was mine"by Carolynr (see profile) 10/30/16

Lucy 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... (read more)

 
  "Fast reading and Holds attention"by questforanswers (see profile) 10/28/16

The ripple effect of a split second decision involved in a baby being kidnapped that alters many lives is explored in this novel. There are many themes that are brought out. Motherhood, forgiveness, ownership,... (read more)

 
by petersos (see profile) 08/26/16

 
  "what was mine"by SusanBA (see profile) 08/26/16

I had a hard time with this book as a baby was basically kidnapped. The child had a good life, but that doesn't negate the fact that many other lives were affected negatively. These lives wi... (read more)

 
by cknight168 (see profile) 08/09/16

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