Book Review: When You Were Mine by Kate Hewitt

Rating: 5/5

Genre: Domestic Fiction


“Dylan…” I croak, but my little boy doesn’t even look at me. “Dylan,” I say again, my voice breaking now, and the social worker gives me a reproving look. I’m not helping, but I don’t care. “Dylan!” My voice is louder now, and my gaze stays locked with my son’s as she pulls away from the curb and drives away, taking my very life with her.

Single mother Beth loves her seven-year-old son Dylan with all her heart. He’s her world. But life with Dylan isn’t easy—and his emotional issues push Beth to her very limit. When a misunderstanding leads Dylan to be taken into foster care, she is determined to do whatever she can to get him back.

Mother of two, Ally has always dreamed of fostering—it feels like her chance to give back when she has been so lucky in life. But when Dylan joins their family, Ally finds herself struggling to balance his needs with those of her own children and husband—something Beth can’t help but witness when she visits.

Beth wants nothing more than to find a way to bring her beloved child home. But where is the right home for Dylan? Is it with the mother he was born to? Or is a new mother the greatest gift Beth could give her son?

My verdict: Firstly thank you to Netgalley for letting me read this prior release and I must say with this heartwarming and at times heart wrenching drama Katie is hot on the heels of the likes of Jodi Picoult and Kelly Rimmer. Not only does this book deals with a child with special educational needs but how stretched the American Foster system is and the social workers advocating for these children and in some cases the parents.

I have to say, I found that I wanted to shake Beth and scream that helicopter parenting doesn’t work but once we slowly discovered her backstory I sympathised a lot with anxieties.

I did like how in Ally’s POV with her children it shows that not all family’s are perfect behind closed doors – it made me like her more.

The novel also shows this from Ally’s perspective that even though your children may be grown-up and have left home it’s still important to maintain an emotional connection with them them and caring for Dylan makes All realise it’s importance and that honour roll and Ivy League colleges don’t matter. On the other hand, it is a relief when Beth realises that she’s projecting her anxiety on her son and especially once she comes to the conclusion that perhaps her and Dylan’s relationship is too intense and maybe setting boundaries and letting go of anxiety is a good thing. When you combine both women’s good points and bad points they create a fantastic support system for Dylan. In this books case it wasn’t a case of good parenting/ bad parenting but a mixture of both on either side, both sides showed me how competitive parenting is even when it’s done subtly and how self doubt is leathal.

Finally, This novel deals with many issues such as abandonment, mental health, drugs, childhood trauma and domestic abuse, the fall out of high parental expectations, educational stress, the lack of support in CFD. In conclusion, how there’s no such thing as a perfect parent and that some parents need some more help and support than others but, that doesn’t necessarily mean your a bad parent.

Overall Kate’s writing is emotive, when the scenes don’t translate the emotion to you, the inner a monologues of the characters certainly do with plenty of metaphors and similes. A fantastic addition to my bookshelf. Katie Hewitt is one to watch with her passionate and terjerking narratives and could easily give Diane Chamberlaine and Jill Childs a run for their money.

Click the image to be taken to Amazon so you may buy your copy

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