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You Were Always Mine

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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  361 Ratings  ·  161 Reviews
The acclaimed author of Little Broken Things returns with another “race-to-the-finish family drama” (People) about a single mother who becomes embroiled in a mystery that threatens to tear apart what’s left of her family.

Jessica Chamberlain, newly separated and living with her two sons in a small Iowa town, can’t believe that a tragedy in another state could have anything
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Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 16th 2018 by Atria Books
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Chelsea Humphrey
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-publisher
Oh wow. This story was a breath of fresh air in a genre that has grown somewhat stale to me in the past year. Is it a domestic thriller? Yes. Is it women's fiction? I suppose, although I've grown to dislike that term, as it suggests that ONLY women will enjoy those novels, when in fact I know many men who greedily devour them as well. Whatever you want to call it, You Were Always Mine is a complex tale that vacillates between thrilling page turner and thought provoking and heavy thematic element ...more
Meredith
Oct 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Slow moving family drama about a woman trying to put the pieces back together after the unexpected and suspicious death of her husband. This is about a single mother grappling with a loss while trying to maintain a solid foundation for her two sons, 13-year-old Max and 6-year-old Gabe. The secrets she uncovers shine a light on the ugly side of adoption.

Jess, a mother of two, is stunned when she receives word that her husband, Evan, was killed in a hunting accident. Jess and Evan were separate
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Debra
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Fans of women's fiction, mysteries and domestic dramas should enjoy this book which delves into the darker side of adoption. Jessica Chamberlain and her husband, Evan are separated parents of two sons. When Evan fails to pick up the boys after school one day, Jessica is both annoyed and concerned as Evan has changed his work schedule, so he can pick them up. Then she receives devastating news which is only the beginning. Soon, Jessica learns that her husband had secrets which involved their youn ...more
Berit☀️✨
This was an evocative and addictive read that will reel you in and won’t let go!

This is a story about compassion, trust, deception, secrets, mystery, motherhood, but most of all it is about the darker side of adoption...Nicole Baart brings so much heart and authenticity to the story... her experience as an adoptive mother really shines through on these pages... my brothers are adopted, so I really had a strong connection to the adoption part of the story.... I found the psychological impact on b
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Holly  B
Another amazing read from a favorite author!
A gripping story that I couldn't put down!

This was an incredible story from one of my favorite authors.  I was absolutely  hooked  from the very beginning.  It turned out to be a suspense filled drama that was quite compelling.

Jessica is a mother of two boys, the youngest, Gabriel is adopted.  She is estranged from her husband Evan and her life is complicated. She gets some devastating news and her life takes another abrupt turn.

I love this author'
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
So this is what Nicole Baart’s books are like? I am a fan! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Whether you call it a domestic drama, domestic suspense, or even a domestic psychological thriller (because it most definitely had me analyzing what was happening as it happened!), You Were Always Mine is a tense and emotional story of adoption; one that will surprise you!

Jessica Chamberlain, a high school teacher and mother of two boys, has recently separated from her doctor husband when he suddenly disappears and is later fo
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Dorie  - Traveling Sister :)
I had originally rated this a t a 4 but upon careful thought and writing the review I have changed my rating to a 5*

This was quite simply a wonderful intelligent thriller of a book! The writing is fantastic, the characters very well drawn. Not only is the mystery very difficult to solve but the book also touched upon some darker sides of adoption.

Jess and Evan Chamberlain are recently separated and still trying to figure out the best arrangement that will benefit their sons. Married for 15 year
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Kaceey - Traveling Sister
Jessica always dreamed of having the perfect family. But sometimes, (more times than not!) life takes an unexpected turn, finding yourself knee-deep in a situation you never dreamed of.

Jessica is recently estranged from her husband, raising two sons on her own. Tough position to be in, for sure. Hopefully, this is as bad as it gets.
Sorry, all you wishful thinkers! Unfortunately for Jessica, her world is about to get rocked one more time.

An innocuous knock on her door starts in motion a series o
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Diane S ☔
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerful opening that draws the reader right into the story segues into a well done domestic thriller. Jess and her husband, separated for six months, both love their two children, the youngest Gabe adopted. A school teacher, trying to maintain a secure and comfortable home life for her boys, she is devastated when something terrible happens. Now the question is, How well did she know her husband? What was he searching for?

Baarts last book I found too dramatic, but in this one though the situa
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Susanne Strong
4 Stars!

A Domestic Drama with Lots of Heart!


Jess is a newly single mother of two boys: Max, 13 and Gabe, 6. Every day is a struggle now that she is estranged from her husband Evan. Max is angry and sullen and he blames her for the breakup of their family. Gabe is a kind and loving child whose cuddles Jess adores. The only person Jess can count on for support is her best friend Meredith, who was their adoption specialist when she and Evan brought Gabe home. If Jess thought being separated from Ev
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(Bern) Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
You Were Always Mine is a slow building family drama with elements of mystery - 3.5 stars

Jessica and Evan Chamberlain separated after 15 years of marriage. Still, when she receives an unexpected phone call about an accident involving her husband her world begins to spin off its axis. Evan was a workaholic, more committed to his practice than his family. Recently he had become even more distracted, secretive and obsessed with his work. The book chronicles Jessica's quest to uncover the truth reg
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Theresa Alan
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was immediately drawn into this novel, which is part family drama, part mystery. Right away I liked the main character, mother and teacher Jessica Chamberlain, who is separated from her husband. She was the one who asked him to move out, but she’s still hoping things can be repaired between them. So, when she gets a call that her estranged husband is dead in an apparent hunting accident hundreds of miles away, she doesn’t believe it. Dr. Evan Chamberlain isn’t an outdoorsy hunter, he’s a littl ...more
Norma * Traveling Sister
Compelling, haunting & thought-provoking!

YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE by NICOLE BAART is an excellent, riveting, moving, and passionate story centered around adoption that I was immediately drawn into and had me interested right to the very end.

Even though the intensity level of this tale slowly builds as the story progresses there is this brilliant obscure element to the storyline that immediately grabbed my attention and had me totally intrigued in what I was reading and what it all meant. This d
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Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart came highly recommended to me by my friend Holly and I’m so glad I was able to read this book! What an emotional roller coaster this book of domestic suspense took me on! That’s the genre I landed on, after seeing other reviewers comment on how this one is hard to place. It is not a psychological thriller in the modern sense of the word, though I think it would classify as one if it were written two decades ago. It doesn’t have that wild twisty ride of a thri ...more
Barbara
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bayb-2018

Jessica and Evan Chamberlain, who live in a small Iowa town, are parents to 13-year-old Max and 6-year-old Gabe. The couple adopted Gabe as an infant - right after losing their own newborn - and Jess compulsively clings to the little boy. In fact, Jess is so obsessed with being Gabe's mother that she almost refuses to acknowledge the existence of a birth mother, forbidding anyone to even mention her.

Evan, a compassionate family physician, feels differently. He's been exchanging the occasional l
...more
Kendall
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow... what a breathe of fresh air! This was an incredible story from beginning to end that I was instantly hooked on!

I'm not sure what I would categorize this as? Definitely a domestic suspense/women's fiction. Nicole Baart had me at HELLO with this one... my goodness where do I even start with giving this book justice?!

I was definitely intrigued by this book because one I'm a social worker... and work in adoptions. Wow... talk about diving DEEP into the darker side of the adoption. What a uniq
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Kristy
Jessica Chamberlain and her husband, Evan, have been separated for months, so she's quite surprised when she gets a call from the police regarding him. Even more shocking is that the police believe Evan to be dead--his body found on a hunting ground in another state. As Jessica attempts to figure out what happened, she must also try to mother her two boys, thirteen-year-old Max and six-year-old Gabe, who is adopted. Jess can't believe Evan is dead, however, and the more she digs, the more she st ...more
Stephanie
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
You Were Always Mine is another brilliant book by Nicole Baart. She's definitely an auto-buy author and has quickly become one of my favorite authors!! This is such an edge of your seat, page-turning domestic thriller, but it's also a story that tackles the complexities and powerful themes of secrets, death, grief, loss, hope, love, adoption (and it's dark, perverse side) but most of all the power of families of every kind and the unconditional love of a mother. It's such a multilayered and comp ...more
DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

The night was black, the sky cast iron. It was hard and cold and jealous, swallowing up the glow of their headlights so that they had to squint at the dark road. At some point, they had passed from prairie to forest, and the starless sky above them had filled with the shadows of twisted branches. They were bare and peculiar, gnarled fingertips that seemed to reach for them. But when Jess turned her attention to the gloom, they were nothing more than wood and wind, hollow with the
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Amy
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5

Baart is quickly becoming one of those authors that are an automatic read for me without even reading the blurb of her books. She somehow manages to infuse her books with a quiet and steady type of suspense that makes me take a deep breath and slow down and she also takes the reader on a highly emotional journey all the while exploring new topics and teaching me a thing or two. It’s a powerful experience, truly special and unique.

Baart delves into the darker side of adoption and her knowled
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Lori
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was adopted and have never thought too deeply about the insecurities/vulnerabilities that adoptive parents face everyday. For me this novel was more about that than the ‘thrill’. I was not surprised to find that Baart is the parent of adoptive children, because her writing had a very personal feel to it. Wish this had been a bit more thrilling. Still enjoyed. 4 stars.
Jamie Rosenblit
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
4.5 powerful stars to this story unveiling the darker side of adoption.

In You Were Always Mine, Jessica Chamberlain receives a chilling phone call that her estranged husband has been found dead under mysterious circumstances. Jess is left to uncover the truth about what happened to her husband while protecting her two sons, one of whom is adopted. When the pieces start to come together and Jess realizes her husband had been in contact with her son's birth mother, the confusion only increases.

Wh
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Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
Imagine being separated from the love of your life, trying to make things work in your home as a "single mom" with your two sons, the youngest adopted. One day you receive a call that your estranged husband is dead and now all thoughts of reconciliation are gone and you're a young widow. On top of THAT, you realize that your husband was in contact with your adopted son's birth mother and kept it from you. Could life get any more complicated?!

"Mariah K.
24, Caucasian, GED
Short blond hair, blue eye
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Jen
Nov 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This my friends, is the definition of a page turner! I was hooked from the very beginning and raced through the pages until the very end. This domestic thriller pulls you in with a mystery and keeps you guessing, yet is able to pull on your heartstrings and evoke warm emotions. Jessica is newly separated from her husband and raising her two sons in small town Iowa. One son is biological, one son is adopted. One morning she gets a phone call that changes her life forever. I won’t give away too mu ...more
Fareya
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
How often does it happen that you read a book that is a gripping page turner along with having an emotional punch to it? I am guessing not very frequently. It’s not everyday that you get to read a story that’ll both pull on your heartstrings and have enough suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. Let me start by saying that is not an average psychological thriller with an unforeseeable twist happening every other chapter, nor does this entirely belong in the category of women’s fiction wh ...more
Tina Woodbury
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For all of my reviews: www.readingbetweenthepagesblog.wordpr...

This is a touching story of love, family, and strength, with a mystery woven throughout.

Jessica Chamberlain is newly separated from her husband Evan. They have two children, Max and Gabe, and have been amicably sharing custody for the past six months. Evan was supposed to pick up the children from school on Friday and spend the weekend with them – but he never showed up.

I really enjoyed how real the family dynamic was. Max is a typic
...more
BookGypsy
Jessica Chamberlin is a single mother of two boys, one being adopted. When she receives a phone call telling her that her estranged husband is found dead she starts looking for answers. This is one compelling read! I read it straight through talking to myself out loud. So many twists that I never saw coming and the end was just stunning! A great book club selection. I highly recommend this.

Dawnny- BookGypsy
Novels N Latte
Book Blog
Mindy Mejia
Blurb provided to the publisher on an advance reading copy:

Mothers everywhere will recognize and celebrate the fierce, imperfect strength of Jessica Chamberlain as she tries to parent her sons—one birthed and one adopted—in the wake of her estranged husband’s death. A startlingly authentic mix of suspense, grief, and family drama, YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE reconstructs the pieces of a shattered life to reveal the darkness that destroyed it. You will never look at adoption the same way again.
Elizabeth
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Tl;dr: Propulsive and eminently readable, You Were Always Mine is a first rate domestic suspense novel.

Wow! I couldn't stop reading You Were Always Mine, especially towards the ending! Ms. Baart's writing is tight with a t and I actually missed my stop on the bus home today because I was so busy reading.

Although I know this will be classified as women's fiction--a term I'm starting to find irritating as seems to imply that awesome novels like this can only be read by women (not that we don't de
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Susan Peterson
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You Were Always Mine is so compelling the pages practically turn themselves! The author has woven together this story that combines heartfelt family drama with suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat! The story unfolds so skillfully, putting all the pieces together until it reaches its startling conclusion...an ending I never expected, that made me gasp out loud! There were so many layers to this story...motherhood, adoption, and so many secrets!
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Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. She is the author of nine novels, including LITTLE BROKEN THINGS and the upcoming YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE (10/16/18). Nicole is a proud Tall Poppy Writer and a firm believer that we are, and always will be, better together. Find o ...more