Thursday, March 3, 2016

What Was Mine - Helen Klein Ross

My review of Helen Klein Ross' What Was Mine first appeared in Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am posting it today with their permission.

First line: "Kidnapped."

Told from an array of perspectives, Helen Klein Ross' intimate debut tale of a kidnapping makes determining right and wrong--justice and crime--a fuzzy shade of gray, nearly impossible to pinpoint and full of ambiguity.

The law has no doubt that Lucy Wakefield committed a felony when she carried Marilyn and Tom Featherstone's four-month-old daughter, Natalie, out of a New Jersey IKEA store and drove away with her. But twenty-one years later when the truth is finally exposed and Natalie--a.k.a. Mia Wakefield--is a college senior preparing for law school, the ramifications aren't so cut and dry. They are weighted down with the emotion of humanity, the intensity of memories and other forces that exist outside the vacuum of the U.S. justice system.

Ross explores those forces by telling the story from many people's points of view. Primarily the narration of Lucy, Marilyn and Natalie/Mia, the novel also offers insights from others including Lucy's sister, Marilyn's second husband and their children, and Mia's Chinese nanny. As one character's rage sweeps the reader up into its twisting storm, the next character chimes in and snatches the empathy for herself. This emotional tornado illustrates how powerful and far-reaching the eye of the storm can be. It also highlights the destruction that isn't so easily visible or assessable.

A powerful plot told with exactly the right approach, What Was Mine is capable of sparking plenty of discussion whether it is over a water cooler, in a book club or simply in the reader's mind.

What Was Mine is available in trade paperback (ISBN: 9780316309677) from Gallery Books and as an unabridged audiobook (ISBN: 9781442396371), narrated by Julia Whelan, Cassandra Campbell, Amanda Carlin, Rebekkah Ross and Jonathan Todd Ross from Simon & Schuster Audio.

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Kay March 3, 2016 at 9:38 AM  

I've got to read this book. So many are writing about it and the whole premise, which at first sounded kind of hokey and unbelievable to me, seems to be treated in a unique manner. So...yes, sign me up! LOL

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