While the idea of feeling anything but horror for such a woman would normally be a predominant one, I found myself empathizing with Lucy, the “kidnapper,” whose almost obsessive desire for a baby leads to such a horrific act. The author skillfully takes us through her thought processes, breaking them down into manageable moments that slowly turn into something almost palatable…and then, just when we think we can live with what she did, the repercussions start happening. Life comes undone.
With part of the story in Lucy’s voice, we come to understand her. But what about all those whose lives were damaged? We view the perspectives of Marilyn, the mother of the kidnapped child; other people in Lucy’s life; Mia herself; and more characters as the pages lead us to what happens after.
From Manhattan to California, and finally to China, the story unfolds into some surprising developments. The emotions that Mia feels upon learning of Lucy’s actions soon change as she realizes, finally, that she was who she was because of Lucy. And despite the biological connection with Marilyn, parts of her would always belong to the woman who raised her.
In some ways, the conclusion to What Was Mine felt unfinished, as we are left not quite knowing what the outcome will be. But as we watch the pieces begin to coalesce, we are struck by how nothing is quite black and white, but in muted shades of gray. 4.5 stars.