Review of ‘Mine’ by Clare Empson

A very emotional novel about different kinds of love and an exploration of the long-term impact of adoption on parents and children. Don’t be fooled by the psychological thriller packaging, it’s not a thriller at all. The pace is slow, there is little suspense and there weren’t really any surprises, other than the awful and rushed ending which concluded the book on such a downer that I had to read something happy afterwards. Normally I don’t mind books with darker themes, but this kind of story called for a different ending.

I did think the book was well-written, with distinctive characters. I liked the ‘then’ narrative (70s) more than the ‘now’. I enjoyed the unexpected focus on modern art and rock music in the story (the blurb had no indication of them).

The premise is that 27-year-old Luke is a new father and his girlfriend wants to return to work. When Alice, Luke’s birth mother, enters his life again, they invite her to look after the baby. The problem is that Alice is obsessed with the baby, re-living her time as a young mother before Luke was adopted. This is going to cause problems and lead to emotional breakdowns.

There were a few things that nagged at me. I thought that the writing style was a little formal and old-fashioned for the modern-day characters in their twenties. Some of the details didn’t seem quite authentic. There were a lot of carnivorous meals described (not pleasant reading for vegans) and a lot of wines mentioned by name, which I don’t care about at all. So much food and drink seemed irrelevant to the story and if you removed them there’d be about fifty fewer pages.

In summary, this book wasn’t what I thought it would be, although I appreciated the exploration of adoption, which I don’t often encounter in novels.

Published by Orion in 2019.

2 thoughts on “Review of ‘Mine’ by Clare Empson”

    1. Thanks for reading šŸ™‚ Yes the concept was appealing but it didn’t really match my expectations, happens quite often!

Leave a Reply