Published: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Gallery Book
Format: via Edelweiss
Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.
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.
Wow, that’s all I say about this wonderfully written novel by Helen Klein Ross. I’ll be honest I went into this feeling one way before I even read a single word. I mean how else would you feel about a woman who kidnaps a baby? Simple put GUILTY, right? Well, that must be the challenge when it comes to Ross’s writing this book. She gives us the story of Lucy who after years of trying to conceive is left by her husband. Not that that is an excuse when it comes to what she did that eventful day. Lucy never plans to take Mia but once she does there is no turning back.
Years go by and we see Mia as a young lady who is in college and although she thinks her “mom” is a tad overprotective she thinks none the wiser. She has gone to good schools and has had a good life. Until one day her world is shattered and this woman claiming to be her birth mom contacts her on social media. This woman meets Lucy at a bookstore signing and instantly feels something between them. She does some background info and finds that Mia is her daughter that was kidnapped years ago.
This story could’ve gone a million ways but thankfully it went the right way. There is a fine line when it comes to stories like this, you can go the obvious way and make Lucy out to be a monster or either makes her out to be some sad person with a million excuses to why she did what she did. I liked how there was a fine line to Lucy. There are no excuses to defend what she did but she wasn’t a horrible person at her core. While she was wrong for what she did, she was a good mother to Mia. And at the end, Mia’s reaction to her was totally understandable and believable. This book is one that will make you look at things from a different light; it makes you realize that things in life aren’t always clear cut or black and white. This is one read that I highly recommend to everyone.