What is this about?: Sasha wakes up after a c-section, desperate to see the daughter she knows she had. Except, she had a son, and she is convinced her son, Toby, isn’t hers.
What else is this about?: A mother’s instinct, trust and what happens when no-one listens.
The baby in the nursery is not your baby.
Waking up after an emergency caesarean, you demand to see your son.
But it’s someone else’s child.
No one believes you – not the hospital, not your father, not your loyal husband.
They say you’re delusional. Dangerous.
They suspect you want to steal another baby.
All you know is that you must find your own child before he’s out of reach forever.
And you’re a doctor – you would know if you were losing your mind.
Mine begins during the most emotional time during a young mother’s life – Sasha wakes up after a c-section and discovers she’s in the wrong hospital, her husband is nowhere to be seen and her baby isn’t hers.
Susi Fox delves into this straightaway, with a desperate Sasha knowing her son isn’t hers, even though everyone around her assures he is – her doctors, her husband and her nurses. Fox plays with perceptions well, making me suspect everyone was in on something, and then I turn the page, and I am convinced Sasha is losing her mind.
Sasha is a pathologist, and while still in hospital she sets about identifying who her baby could be of the others in the nursery, getting to know the other parents in an effort to get to the bottom of this feeling of hers. Her trust in Mark begins to waver and soon, she finds herself isolated.
In flashbacks, we learn of Mark and Sasha’s past from his POV, and I found myself wondering who I should be believing in – is it Mark? Because I wondered if he was in on it too. Or is it Sasha, wondering if their marriage is over, and recounting what Mark was like during the numerous times they’ve tried for a baby. She wonders if he all he wants is the baby and that casts a suspicion of doubt over him too.
As Sasha’s insistence about her baby grows, in steps the hospital and a psychiatrist, and soon enough she’s being put into a psychiatric ward. Her only ally is a friend via phone. I would have liked to have seen these two mothers, explore what is a mother’s greatest fear not to mention the fear of not being believed no matter what you say. I would have liked to have her friend present to be her ally, for these women who have struggled to conceive to deal with jealousies and insecurities and fears. But, perhaps it was a decision to emphasise how alone she was.
There was also Sasha’s history, her mother and what happened to her that could have been explored more. This information comes from her father, who by his own admission isn’t very emotional, and he didn’t, but in a book like this, I thought it might have been better if he had been.
I wanted more from Mine in some ways, but I can’t deny it was a compelling read, that plays with readers’ perceptions about who to believe.
And I will say this: Susi Fox plays with your perceptions right from the title to the last line. Nothing in a thriller like this is ever simple.
Read my interview with her tomorrow!