“Dylan…” I croak, but my little boy doesn’t even look at me. “Dylan!” My voice is louder now, and my gaze stays locked with my son’s as the car 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. So when a terrible series of events lead 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 when she also sees Dylan bonding with Ally, she has to ask herself – where is the right home for Dylan? She wants to believe it is with her… But does a mother always know what’s best for her child?
A beautiful, powerful and ultimately hopeful story of the heartbreaking power of a mother’s love, for fans of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.
Once again Kate Hewitt has wrecked me with her newest book, When You Were Mine. Hewitt just has this quality to her writing that immerses you fully and thoroughly, bringing forth every emotion possible. There is a reason why I say Kate Hewitt is an auto-buy author for me. I don’t need to read a synopsis, I don’t need to know what the book is about as long as her name is on it, I am going to NEED to read it.
Beth is a single mother to her seven year old son Dylan. Dylan is not the easiest kid to raise and has some emotional and developmental delays not yet diagnosed by a doctor. He is non verbal and has meltdowns. One particular meltdown in a store leads Beth to losing her child when the Department of Children and Family Services steps in placing young Dylan in a foster home for the time being.
Ally is a happily married woman with a loving husband and two teenage children. She opens up her home and her family to foster children in need. Her first foster child, Dylan, isn’t exactly what she expected, but in a way she can also relate to him and she is determined to do right by him much to her family’s dismay.
What exactly is going on with Dylan and which home is the best for him where he can thrive and be a happy child? Is it with Beth or Ally?
This story really pulls you in with the opening scene in the court house. I found this to be a really good starting point and it lent a sense of dread for me not knowing what direction the story was going to go. It is such a heartbreaking story and any time I read something about a child thrust into a situation like this it just breaks my heart. What is best for a child? Their parents of course, but what if that parent is holding their child back or not giving him or her the care he needs. A lot of these points were touched on in this story and your emotions can swing either way between empathy and compassion. I know that DCFS is needed, but I also think the system needs an overhaul and more caring and understanding needs to be shown to everyone – parents, foster families and the child/children. I commend anyone who fosters a child. It is not an easy task and many children have come from horrible situations or may not have had the best life and it can be a lot for a family to take on. Hewitt did such an amazing job showing both sides with a parent’s anguish over losing her child and how a family fostering oftentimes is left dealing with any emotional baggage which can put a strain on any family.
I felt a lot of empathy for Beth especially being a single mom and raising a son with pretty much no help from anyone. It can be stressful in the best of times, but topple it with a child who is nonverbal and throws tantrums can take its toll. I can also understand the frustration Beth feels and how easily it can be to lose your temper. Beth may not be the easiest person to warm up to, but you can clearly see how much she loves her child and wants what is best for him. Ally on the other hand I did really like, but once she begins fostering you can see the cracks in her relationship and how she deals with everything and again Hewitt shows us the reality and doesn’t sugarcoat anything which makes the story all the more real. I can also see the growth of each character with everything centered around one little boy.
Simply put, I cannot recommend this book any harder if I tried. Kate Hewitt is an amazing and talented writer and she captures the meaning of being a parent, setbacks as well as accomplishments and through it all finding yourself amidst a heartbreaking scenario. Another definite five star read from me. Like I really had any doubts it would be anything less than five stars anyway.