Review: You Were Always Mine

by Rebecca
Published: Last Updated on

What. A. Thriller. Nicole Baart’s You Were Always Mine is a phenomenal novel. It is brimming with family tensions, heartache, and the unconditional love of a mother for her children. It grabs hold of the reader with raw emotion and refuses to let go even after the book is finished.

Jessica Chamberlain is trying her best to live life as normal, despite the fact that she and her husband are now estranged and her teenage son will only speak to her in monosyllabic grunts. Then, one day, she gets a call that makes living a normal life impossible. Her heart is ripped out of her chest and grief consumes her entire family. While concentrating on keeping the broken pieces of herself and her family together, she soon discovers that the ones she loves most are caught up in a dark and dangerous world, a world she didn’t even know existed. She is soon forced to fit together the pieces of a puzzle she doesn’t understand to uncover the truth about those she holds closest to her heart.

Did I mention this book was phenomenal? I cannot recommend it enough. I was immersed in the story from the start and became so attached to each character, I found it difficult to put down. Even the most frustrating and ill-mannered characters elicit sympathy from the reader because the reasons behind their behavior, however misguided they may be, are always understandable.

In addition, Baart’s descriptions are flawless, and each scene flows seamlessly into the next, allowing the story and its characters to truly come alive. Baart provides just enough key information as the novel progresses to intrigue the reader, encouraging him or her to continue reading for answers.

This book is unlike any mystery I have ever read. It is exciting and suspenseful, thought-provoking and true, tragic and heart-warming all at once. It is a powerful and frightening story; a perfect combination of family drama and mystery that should not be missed. 

About You Were Always Mine

Hardcover: 384 Pages

Publisher: Atria Books (October 16, 2018)

The acclaimed author of Little Broken Things returns with another “race-to-the-finish family drama” (People) about a single mother who becomes embroiled in a mystery that threatens to tear apart what’s left of her family.

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.

“Tense, emotionally-charged, and at times frightening, You Were Always Mine opened my eyes to the dark side of adoption.  With characters that are true to life and a tremendous depth of knowledge into a shocking subject matter, this is Baart’s best book yet.  Completely engrossing!”–Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl

“Mothers everywhere will recognize and celebrate the fierce, imperfect strength of Jessica Chamberlain as she tries to parent her sons—one birthed and one adopted—in the wake of her estranged husband’s death. A startlingly authentic mix of suspense, grief, and family drama, You Were Always Mine reconstructs the pieces of a shattered life to reveal the darkness that destroyed it. You will never look at adoption the same way again.”–Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me To Be and Leave No Trace

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Nicole Baart

Nicole Baart is the mother of five children from four different countries. The cofounder of a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, she lives in a small town in Iowa. Her books have been featured in Southern Living, Country Woman, Book Page, Glam, Brit & Co., and on Yahoo Lifestyle, and her latest release, Little Broken Things, was a People Magazine Editor’s Pick. Nicole is the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including You Were Always Mine (available 10/16/18 from Atria Books).


Connect with Nicole

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tour Stops

Tuesday, October 16th: Palmer’s Page Turners

Wednesday, October 17th: Bewitched Bookworms

Monday, October 22nd: Literary Quicksand

Tuesday, October 23rd: That’s What She Read and @thats_what_she_read

Wednesday, October 24th: @bookpairings

Friday, October 26th: Eliot’s Eats

Monday, October 29th: Amy’s Book-et List

Tuesday, October 30th: Girl Who Reads

Thursday, November 1st: Books and Bindings

Monday, November 5th: Booktimistic and @booktimistic

Wednesday, November 7th: Fiction Aficionado

Thursday, November 8th: Girls in Books and @girlsinbooks

Monday, November 12th: Kritter’s Ramblings

Wednesday, November 14th: @wherethereadergrows

Related Posts


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours November 5, 2018 - 2:48 pm

Thanks for being on the tour!

Nicole Baart, author of YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE, on tour October/November 2018 | TLC Book Tours November 16, 2018 - 11:58 pm

[…] Monday, October 22nd: Literary Quicksand […]


Leave a Comment