Review: You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart


Release date: October 16, 2018

Publisher: Atria

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


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. 


Baart is quickly becoming one of those authors that are an automatic read for me without even reading the blurb of her books. She somehow manages to infuse her books with a quiet and steady type of suspense that makes me take a deep breath and slow down and she also takes the reader on a highly emotional journey all the while exploring new topics and teaching me a thing or two. It’s a powerful experience, truly special and unique.

Baart delves into the darker side of adoption and her knowledge is apparent as she is an adoptive mother herself. She is such a gifted writer and she captures all the emotions and feelings surrounding motherhood so perfectly it almost breaks your heart. I found myself thinking, yaasss girl! SO many times while reading, she just gets it, she makes you feel both seen and heard. She also crafts incredibly well drawn and relatable characters and Jessica had me behind her one hundred percent the whole way through.

Her books do remind me a little of Liane Moriarty so if you’re a fan give Baart a try. There’s a raw vulnerability to her books that just speaks to me and while this is definitely a slow burning suspense there’s enough intrigue to satisfy mystery fans.

You Were Always Mine in three words: Compelling, Vulnerable and Multifaceted.

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

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