Tuesday 17 March 2020

BLOG TOUR: Mine - Clare Empson

'Who am I? Why am I here? Why did my mother give me away?'

On the surface, Luke and his girlfriend Hannah seem to have a perfect life. He's an A&R man, she's an arts correspondent and they are devoted to their new-born son Samuel.

But beneath the gloss Luke has always felt like an outsider. So when he finds his birth mother Alice, the instant connection with her is a little like falling in love.

When Hannah goes back to work, Luke asks Alice to look after their son. But Alice - fuelled with grief from when her baby was taken from her 27 years ago - starts to fall in love with Samuel. And Luke won't settle for his mother pushing him aside once again...

What did I think?

I was drawn to Mine by the amazing cover showing the peace and tranquillity of a baby's nursery behind a shattered pane of glass.  I have to say that I felt as broken as that pane of glass when I finished reading; Clare Empson really put my emotions through the wringer with her outstanding second novel.

It's always emotional reading where adoption is concerned and Mine is a double-whammy of emotion; it's a dual timeline novel telling the story of Luke introducing his birth mother Alice into his family and also the story of Alice's history up to the point where she handed over her newborn son for adoption.  It is like a simultaneous knife to the heart and an elastoplast over her shattered heart when Alice meets Luke's baby son Samuel who looks just like Luke did when he was born.  When Alice starts to look after Samuel, Luke feels pushed out and unwanted all over again but in Alice's mind she can right the wrongs of the past.  Emotions begin to run high and I feared this would all end in tears, but I didn't expect the tears to be mine!

With a strong emphasis on mental health, I read Mine with a sense of foreboding but still wasn't prepared for the shock and emotion I felt at the end which had me gulping back tears.  Alice's story is completely heartbreaking and I had tears in my eyes on several occasions at the events that changed a talented young woman's life forever.  My heart also went out to Luke who felt so confused and hurt when he should have been building a new relationship with his birth mother.  The character who stood out for me, rather surprisingly, was Christina, Luke's adoptive mother; she was kept in the dark about Luke meeting Alice but when the chips were down she showed what unconditional love is all about.

Mine is a powerful and highly emotive story about motherhood.  It felt dark and ominous at times so I wasn't prepared to feel so bereft at the end.  Beautiful, sensitive and utterly heartbreaking Mine is highly recommended and completely unforgettable.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

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