Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Julie's Review: You Were Always Mine

Author: Nicole Baart
Series: None
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 384
Obtained: publisher
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Women's Fiction
Rating: 3/5

Bottom Line: I figured out a big piece of the puzzle early on. This one fell a bit short for me.

Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Summary:  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 to do with her. But when her phone rings one quiet morning, her world is shattered. As she tries to pick up the pieces and make sense of what went wrong, Jess begins to realize that a tragic death is just the beginning. Soon she is caught in a web of lies and half-truths—and she’s horrified to learn that everything leads back to her seven-year-old adopted son, Gabriel. Years ago, Gabe’s birth mother requested a closed adoption and Jessica was more than happy to comply. But when her house is broken into and she discovers a clue that suggests her estranged husband was in close contact with Gabe’s biological mother, she vows to uncover the truth at any cost. A harrowing story of tenacious love and heartbreaking betrayal, You Were Always Mine is about the wars we wage to keep the ones we love close, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Jodi Picoult. ~amazon.com

Review: You Were Always Mine is a story about what makes a family with a mystery woven into it. Jessica and her husband, Evan, have been separated for a few months when he doesn't pick up the boys on a Friday after school. No matter what is going on between them, he's always there for the boys. Then she gets the devastating call that Evan has been found dead in Minnesota. None of this makes sense to her but she's too distraught to make sense of it until things start seeming out of place.

Add that her eldest son Max has gotten himself into some trouble at school that he has to do community service for and he's also a very surly 13 year old. It was very evident to me that Jessica favored Gabe over Max. Now don't get me wrong, she loves Max but it's Gabe she showers with affection and pays special attention to as well.  I also kept in mind that Gabe was 6 which can make a difference as well. I also thought her burying her head in the sand when it came to Gabe's birth mom was selfish and ill advised. Just because you have contact doesn't make you less his mom.

I thought the premise of the novel was intriguing but it fell short for me for a couple reasons. First, I didn't really care for Jessica and she drove me a bit nuts with her pity me attitude. Second, I figured out an essential piece of the puzzle early on even if I didn't know how it fit in overall.

I loved Little Broken Things by Ms. Baart so while this one didn't resonate with me, I will continue to pick up her books.



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