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.
Helen's poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, literary journals and in anthologies, including SHORT, published in 2014 by Persea Books. Her first novel, Making It: A Novel of Madison Avenue, was published as an e-book in 2013 by Gallery/Simon and Schuster. Her debut novel What Was Mine, will be published in January 2016.
Helen is also the creator and editor of a poetry anthology, The Traveler's Vade Mecum, forthcoming next year from Red Hen Press. Over 80 poets-- including Frank Bidart, David Lehman and Billy Collins-- wrote to titles from an 1853 compendium that provides a glimpse into habits and social aspects of nineteenth-century America.
Helen lives in New York City and Salisbury, Connecticut where she is on the board of a haven for book lovers: Scoville Memorial Library.
This book was a roller coaster of emotions for me. here were moments I wanted to cry and moments I was angry. The characters were wonderful (whether I liked or disliked them). I really enjoyed this book and if you don't mind being bipolar with your emotions, read this book!!
Go Into This One Knowing
you will cry
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