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What Was Mine

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  12,395 ratings  ·  1,563 reviews
“A suspenseful, moving look at twisted maternal love and the limits of forgiveness.” —People

“Not only a terrific, spellbinding read but a fascinating meditation on the choices we make and the way we love.” —Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author

Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent nov
Paperback, 328 pages
Published January 5th 2016 by Gallery Books
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Rj Stephenson The “If You Lived" series is mentioned, although it isn't a homeschool series, but rather a series of short educational history books for children. We…moreThe “If You Lived" series is mentioned, although it isn't a homeschool series, but rather a series of short educational history books for children. We used them as fun reading when my son was between 6-8.

Some books from the series:
If You Lived in Ancient Rome by Alexandra Hanson-Harding
If You Lived in the Days of the Knights by Ann McGovern
If You Sailed on the Mayflower by Ann McGovern
If You Lived in Colonial Times by Ann McGovern
If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution by Kay Moore
If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution by Elizabeth Levy
If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights by Anne Kamma
If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine(less)
Helen Thanks for putting it on your list! I love historical novels, too. In fact, the next book I'm working on is about a crime that happens in the 1800s. P…moreThanks for putting it on your list! I love historical novels, too. In fact, the next book I'm working on is about a crime that happens in the 1800s. People feel divided about the ending of What Was Mine. Many readers wish the book would go on...and on. The ending is not a typical happily-ever-after, but I think it's the happiest thing that could happen, given the circumstances. (less)

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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  12,395 ratings  ·  1,563 reviews

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Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing

When I read the book description, I felt like it almost told the whole story. But honestly this book is about so much more than a kidnapping. Obviously that is a huge part of it, but it's very different from any other kidnapping story I have read. Right off we know who did it. But we also see how everyone is affected by it. We see time passing and how everyone tries to cope. It is about a kidnapping, but it’s also about the power of a mother's love, loss, anger, forgiveness and so much more.

This book about a baby kidnapping has me all tied up in knots. First, there’s the tone throughout the whole story. I would call it almost perky. Tell me, truthfully, how do the words “perky” and “kidnap” go together in any universe? Okay, if I take it down a notch and just call it “calm,” it’s still majorly weird. The initial abduction, of course, is high drama, but there’s also this eerie calm encasing it. I can’t decide if I liked the calm or not, but I had to keep reading, even though I was t ...more
Elyse  Walters
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I've read books that have left me bawling - others I've laughed so hard that I was rolling on the floor. Others where I didn't like the characters at all, but thought the story was brilliant.
In this *impossible-story-to-forget*, I felt INTENSE ANGER towards a character
more than I can ever remember experiencing.

I can't say enough high praise for author Helen Klein Ross in the way she wrote this book. ( the roller coaster emotions & thoughts she pulled out of us readers).
If there was a voting a
Maxine (Booklover Catlady)
Imagine turn your back on your baby left in a shopping trolley to take a phone call from your workplace, you are distracted for minutes, but you will regret those minutes for the rest of your life.

Your baby has been taken...

Every mothers nightmare right? Just can't imagine the sheer terror that would turn your blood cold. This book tackles that very scenario and does it in a highly engaging and readable way. A book you won't forget in a hurry.

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary wo
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4.5 Stars

As the beautiful song goes by Jamie Lawson I "Wasn't Expecting That ".

"Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment. She takes a baby girl from a shopping trolly and raises it as her own"

While reading this story my emotions were all over the place and I kept thinking what a great discussion book this would make for a book club.

I came across this book by accident when I was looking for an audio book and just downloaded it on a whim a
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Yikes! What Was Mine is so creepy -- every parent's worst nightmare. And yet I can't quite believe how much I enjoyed reading this book -- it is so well done. On impulse, desperate for a child, Lucy kidnaps Marilyn's baby from an IKEA store when the baby is 4 months old. She renames the baby Mia and goes on to raise the baby as her own, appearing to the world as the single mother of an adopted child. The kidnapping happens in the early 1990s. The story is alternatingly told from the perspectives ...more
Iris P
What Was Mine


When my firstborn son was only 14 months old I allowed him to stay with his paternal grandparents for almost a month. That meant he had to travel fifteen hundred miles away from me all the way from South Florida to Boston.
Up to that point, we had never been apart, not even for a day and though rationally I knew he was safe and well taken care of, I can still recall the apprehension, unease and sense of emptiness I felt during those weeks.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: domestic-fiction
Lucy Wakefield wanted a baby for as long as she could remember. She was put on this earth to be a mother. That was her dream. Lucy and her husband had gotten pregnant when they were in college together, but they felt that it just wasn't the right time to start a family. Needless to say, the decision was made for them when Lucy lost the baby. Lucy prayed that the chance to have a baby would come again. Years later, Lucy and her husband kept trying and failing to have a baby. Lucy tried IVF, but t ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 well deserved stars! Absolutely loved this one! I had so many conflicted feelings while reading this novel. This was definitely a page turner and extremely hard to put down.

As always I go into books blind so I don't have any preconceptions of what I am reading and then a couple of chapters in I will read the synopsis. WHAT WAS MINE was a fitting title for this novel by HELEN KLEIN ROSS and isn't your typical kidnapping story it is much more than that. It's about love, forgiveness, change, hope
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh my. What have I just done to myself. This was so emotional.

It’s a child that’s been kidnapped, I’ve read plots over and over until I need to take a break at times BUT THIS ONE, you kinda forget about the kidnapping.

It’s been 20 years.

The chapters are owned by several of the main characters and you just simply get inside they’re heads, their hearts their emotions.

I was bounced from pillar to post.

The biological mom
The mom who wants a baby so bad
The child grown

The finding out.

Of course I knew
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

100% an excellent page turner. Lucy Wakefield takes a baby girl from a shopping cart in IKEA. She takes the baby home and keeps the baby girl by changing the baby's name to Mia. One fatal day Mia in her twenties discovers that she was stolen as a baby and is reunited with her real birth mother. But who will Mia think as her mum? I highly recommend reading Someone Else's Child as it is a very moving story twisted with maternal love. I am so glad that I bought my own copy of this book as it has be
♡ Kim ♡
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own, arc, giveaway-wins
What a wonderful book! Full of emotion! I am sad I finished it!
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-it
My emotions were all over the place with this book. Tragic all around. I really liked how you're able to get everyone's POV. Excellent book. ...more
WHAT WAS MINE by Helen Klein Ross is an outstanding emotional read that deals with child abduction…every parent’s nightmare!

Lucy, a recently divorced woman has always wanted only one thing…a child of her own. After pursuing many avenues when she was married to make this dream a reality, she applied for adoption as a single parent, but was refused.

“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 ra
Lucy Wakefield finds 4-month old Natalie Featherstone unattended in a shopping cart in a superstore in suburban New Jersey. In a split second, she makes a decision that will forever change the lives of so many people.

I wanted to hate Lucy and I did. While the heat of that emotion dimmed some after getting to know her better, I never could reconcile how one woman can decide her pain means more than another woman's. How can your desire for a child make it okay to take someone else's baby who's ob
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
What Was Mine is a story about the kidnapping of a baby girl in an IKEA store in New Jersey, and the repercussions of this action for all involved - the baby, Natalie (Mia), the kidnapper, Lucy, and the baby’s parents, Tom and Marilyn.

This story is told in varying first person POVs, mostly told by Mia, Lucy, and Marilyn, but there were many smaller characters who also played roles. The chapters were very short, and as the story picked up, I found myself unable to put it down at certain points. I
Feb 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What was Mine was told through multiple perspectives in short chapters. Not a lot of surprises in this one. Instead, it showed how the kidnapping effected everyone including Lucy herself. The subject matter is probably not for everyone. As a mom, this story was scary and thought provoking. I desired more from the ending but all in all this book made for an interesting narrative and worth the read.
Aug 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
The overall story was definitely intriguing and well thought out, but I think the author's execution of the plot was a bit overworked. I felt like Ross could've left some details to the reader's imagination, instead of over describing some situations, feelings, etc. The simple writing style allowed for a quick read, but I would've appreciated a more cultivated level of fiction. ...more
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
This book started out as a story in 2000. The narrative sprung from my own deep-seated fear of having a baby kidnapped. I have two daughters, and when they were little, I'd be shopping, crouching in front of a grocery story shelf, trying decide between brands of soup, say, and suddenly realize I'd forgotten about my toddler and baby in the shopping cart behind me. I'd quick turn around and they'd always be there. But what if, one day, they weren't?

This story is told from the alternating perspec
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
What kind of a woman kidnaps a baby from a store while the mother's back is turned? And then goes on to lovingly raise the child for the next 21 years?

"What Was Mine" explores the nightmare of child abduction through the point-of-view of the abductor (Lucy), mother (Marilyn), father (Tom), nanny (Wendy) who helps raise the child (unaware of the crime committed), and the child (Mia) herself. The book is engaging and highly readable. I zoomed through the pages in just a couple of days wanting to
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5
Excellent read, a definite page turner! In efforts not to spoil the book for other readers, What Was Mine gave me just the amount of crazy and WTH's that I enjoy when reading a book of this nature. Although the subject matter is any parents worst nightmare, I thoroughly enjoyed how the author somehow made me as a reader feel empathy for Lucy. At times I was angry with Marilyn but I also felt sorry for her. My emotions were all over the place which is the recipe for a good read for me.
Apr 17, 2016 rated it liked it
It sucked you up into the story and obsession immediately. And uses the current switching narrator method within tiny chapters that is so much the rage. It works here. The tension is high.

And yet I am appalled overall at my own reaction. Because during the first 3/4ths of the novel I was invested to motives, feelings, rationalizations, movements to obscure locations by relocating etc.

Why? I really don't know why. Possibly because the 3 main woman characters seemed like "nice" ladies?

What I do kn
 Li'l Owl
One woman, Lucy, is devastated to learn she is unable to have a baby. She is consumed to the point of insanity, if only for a moment. One women, Marilyn, has a baby. She has taken her for granted, if only for a moment. One little girl, Mia/Natalie caught in between. Leading to the consequences left in the wake of that one moment.

This is a very good book all in all. The beginning is well done, going back and forth between the lives of Lucy and Marilyn after that one fateful moment in time follow
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a book that is difficult to review. As a parent, I would never wish upon any parent to go through the trauma that Tom and Marilyn endured. The loss/kidnapping of an infant (or any child) is every parent's nightmare. To have that child stolen from you and be raised by another - a horrible and most despicable act.

I think that what struck me with this book is the fact that the kidnapper Lucy justified her crime using all sorts of excuses. The baby's mother was neglectful and left the child
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a book offered such an original idea and fresh perspective. What Was Mine had me up and reading at 4am. As a parent, reading a book about a baby’s kidnapping is always unsettling. Most of us have experienced at least one brief moment of terror when our eyes weren’t quick enough in their search for our children. Most of us are lucky enough to have feeling quickly replaced by an overwhelming sense of relief when, in short order, we realize he/she had been ri ...more
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was hard to choose between 4-5 stars for this one. I turned the pages quickly, engrossed in the story told from the perspectives of Mia, Lucy & Marilyn. Baby Natalie is taken from her Mother's shopping cart and raised lovingly by Lucy. It was strange that I could empathize with Lucy even though she kidnapped Natalie.
I was interested to read this book, as this could have been my story as a toddler. My parents had taken me Christmas shopping when I was 18 months old. My Mom let me out of the c
Kiwi Begs2Differ  ✎
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A great psychological thriller about a snatched baby, any mother’s nightmare. The focus of this novel is not the crime itself but family relationships, motherhood most of all. The story unfolds via short chapters from multiple POVs.
I really liked this book, it has an excellent pace and thoughtful psychological probing, Helen Klein Ross is a talented writer and I’ll look forward to her next book. 3.5 stars rounded up
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Engaging read. Ross does a wonderful job allowing the reader to examine the ethics behind a horrendous decision. I liked the theme of restorative justice, and the fact that she challenges the reader by showing how each character is affected by the crime - and is it acceptable? Good can come from an unimaginable event, without denying the horror of the crime, and this book shows that. I was satisfied with the ending, not only because it was open ended, but because I could understand Mia's decisio ...more
Patricia Williams
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I must say I was surprised by this book. I thought it would be interesting but I was surprised because it was a beautiful story. The way it was written was lovely, showing the emotions of everyone involved in this crime where a woman steals a baby from an Ikea story and keeps her unfound for 21 years. It shows the emotions of this woman, the baby/girl who was stolen. The parents of the stolen baby and family members involved. And how love and understanding help to heal these people and their rel ...more
Aug 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing

WOW! This was insanely good! My feelings were all over the place and I wanted so badly a dislike a certain character but I just couldn't do it. I loved the writing and the short chapters. Everything about this book was perfect. I highly, highly recommend this book to ANYONE who's looking for something incredible. It will make you think and ask what would you do?
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Helen's third novel The Latecomers will be published by Little, Brown on November 6, 2018. Told in interweaving timelines, this story spans an American century, bringing steam engines, top hats and suffragettes into brilliant collision with cell phones, 9/11 and ancestry apps.

Helen's poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, literary journals and in anthologi

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