When I was asked to read one of the books for this year’s Nebraska Book Festival, I immediately jumped at the chance to read You Were Always Mine, by Nicole Baart. As an adoptee from more than 50 years ago, I have wondered what my birth mother might have been like, as well as wondered about the adoption process. Nicole Baart has done an excellent job exploring a thriller scenario involving a birth mother, and it is definitely a can’t-put-it-down page-turner!
Iowa school teacher Jess Chamberlain, the heroine of this harrowing domestic thriller, and her husband, Evan, a family practitioner, have been separated for six months, and it’s been hard on their 13-year-old son, Max, and their six-year-old adopted son, Gabe. When Evan is killed in a hunting accident in Minnesota, Jess is shocked and suspicious, especially since Evan didn’t hunt. With the support of her family and friends, Jess struggles to move on from the death of a man she still loved. As Jess attempts to retrace Evan’s steps leading up to what becomes increasingly clear was his murder, she discovers that Evan was communicating with Gabe’s birth mother and may have been onto something that hits very close to home. Heartbreaking letters and emails sent by Gabe’s birth mother to various others, including Gabe, add emotional heft. Baart sensitively mines the bonds of motherhood and marriage while shining a light on a darker side of the adoption industry. (Publishers Weekly)
Don’t miss author Nicole Baart tomorrow at the Nebraska Book Festival!