Publication Date: 14th June 2018
This was a case of right book, right time for me. I could feel myself slumping a little, I’ve read some corkers this year and had just picked up a book that was very poetic and wordy. I wasn’t in the right head space for it so (rather sensibly for me!) I set it down and picked up Mine by Susi Fox. With the tag line ‘Someone’s stolen your baby. But no one believes you.’ – now that ain’t no lyrical poetic book!
I tore straight in!
So what’s it all about?
Sasha wakes after an emergency c-section to find herself alone in her hospital room, no baby beside her. In a panic, she asks a passing midwife if her baby daughter is ok. When she’s told her ‘son’ is in the premature baby ward but is doing well, Sasha begins to feel uneasy. The baby had been confirmed in scans as being a girl and Sasha had just felt deep down inside that her baby was a girl.
The midwife also mixes Sasha’s name and file of notes up with another patient, a seemingly innocuous event that does nothing to alleviate Sasha’s fears that something isn’t quite right.
When she is finally taken to visit her son in his incubator Sasha’s fears are seemingly confirmed when she looks at him and feels absolutely nothing for him. No connection, no bond and she struggles to see any familial likeness, either to her side of the family or her husband Mark’s.
And anyway where is Mark? Hadn’t Sasha made him promise to stay with the baby at all times should something bad happen during the birth?
From this point we follow Sasha’s mission to find her true baby despite nobody around her believing her. Her husband Mark appears to be humouring her and her thoughts that somehow her baby has been switched with another in some massive devastating error.
The hospital staff are dismissing her fears as post natal depression, failing to bond with her baby due to the traumatic birth. Sasha however is determined to prove everyone wrong and get her baby back before it’s too late.
We have alternating chapters told from Sasha’s perspective in the present day and Mark’s perspective building a picture of their early relationship and troubles in conceiving. We also gain some insight into Sasha’s childhood and relationship with her father after her mother abandoned her when she was a young child. We also learn about an event in Sasha’s career as a paediatrician that has shaken her confidence and shaped her career and life.
All of the peripheral and background information is there to put you on the back foot and make you question Sasha and her mental health. At least that’s the way it felt for me. I love never quite trusting a protagonist, an unreliable narrator is one of my most favourite things.
It is quite frustrating in a brilliant way, to not know what had happened and to not know who to trust. There are so many possible people to point the finger at that my head was in a wonderful whirl.
Midwife Ursula, psychiatrist Dr Niles, Dr Solomon, husband Mark……what are they all potentially trying to hide?
Sasha is such a determined character, I found myself willing her on in her mission. I mean, sure, there were times when I had to suspend disbelief for a little while…..not sure some of the things that happened in this particular hospital would have happened in good old Blighty in an NHS hospital but hey-ho (this book is set in Australia).
It’s a gripping read which really took me on an intense journey and the ending is an eye opener!
Give it a whirl, you won’t regret it!
Thank you to Sam Deacon for the review copy.
See you soon.
Bookish Chat xx