What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This would be a challenging book to write. The story has many voices but predominantly focuses on Lucy, Marilyn, then Mia at 21. The story is written in retrospect as the characters recount events. Lucy and her husband, a power couple in Manhattan deal with infertility and the impact this has on both Lucy and her husband are different and told through their points of view. Marilyn and her husband are also successful and perhaps a little distracted yet not negligent by any stretch when Lucy steals the baby girl who seems to have been left unattended. Although she didn't really intend to steal a baby. It was just circumstantial and opportunistic and she justifies it early on. Yet she never forgets that she irreparably wounded a mother as she raises and loves Mia.
Meanwhile, we follow Marilyn through her journey for the next 21 years. The repercussions are enormous yet Marilyn finds a semblance of peace and new life. I think that Marilyn's life takes a completely different turn with the loss of her baby.
The interesting part is that the reader is often sympathetic to every character at one point or another. I was never sympathetic for Lucy's reasons for taking the baby yet I understood, to some degree, how she had often to the point she had in her crazy thinking. Her justifications were flimsy, yet I considered her state of mind.
There are subtle side stories that could be compared and contrasted within a book group. Wendy, the Chinese nanny has a couple of storylines that could be contrasted. Cheryl's attitude would be an interesting topic, as well.
There are other topics that I'd add but any more would be spoilers.
Really, well written book with very clear different points of view.