#BookReview You Were Always Mine by Christine Pride & Jo Piazza @jopiazza @SimonSchusterCA @AtriaBooks #YouWereAlwaysMine #ChristinePride #JoPiazza #SimonSchusterCA Title: You Were Always Mine

Author: Christine Pride, Jo Piazza

Published by: Atria Books on Jun. 13, 2023

Genres: Women's Fiction

Pages: 336

Format: Hardcover

Source: Simon & Schuster Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Cinnamon Haynes has fought hard for a life she never thought was possible—a good man by her side, a steady job as a career counselor at a local community college, and a cozy house in a quaint little beach town. It may not look like much, but it’s more than she ever dreamed of or what her difficult childhood promised. Her life’s mantra is to be good, quiet, grateful. Until something shifts and Cinnamon is suddenly haunted by a terrifying “Is this all there is?”

Daisy Dunlap has had her own share of problems in her nineteen years on earth—she also has her own big dreams for a life that’s barely begun. Her hopes for her future are threatened when she gets unexpectedly pregnant. Desperate, broke, and alone, she hides this development from everyone close to her and then makes a drastic decision with devastating consequences.

Daisy isn’t the only one with something to hide. When Cinnamon finds an abandoned baby in a park and takes the blonde-haired, blue-eyed newborn into her home, the ripple effects of this decision risk exposing the truth about Cinnamon’s own past, which she’s gone to great pains to portray as idyllic to everyone…even herself.

As Cinnamon struggles to contain old demons, navigate the fault lines that erupt in her marriage, and deal with the shocking judgments from friends and strangers alike about why a woman like her has a baby like this, her one goal is to do right by the child she grows more attached to with each passing day. It’s the exact same conviction that drives Daisy as she tries to outrun her heartache and reckon with her choices.

These two women, unlikely friends and kindred spirits must face down their secrets and trauma and unite for the sake of the baby they both love in their own unique way when Daisy’s grandparents, who would rather die than see one of their own raised by a Black woman, threaten to take custody.


Review:

Touching, thought-provoking, and graceful!

You Were Always Mine is a beautifully written, affecting tale that takes you into the life of Cinnamon Haynes, a thirty-four-year-old Black woman who, after befriending a nineteen-year-old white girl at the local park, has her life turned upside down when Daisy suddenly decides to leave her newborn blue-eyed baby girl abandoned for Cinnamon to find and raise as her own.

The prose is reflective and intentional. The characters are flawed, scarred, and authentic. And the plot is a compelling tale of friendship, family, race, discrimination, marital discord, childhood trauma, courage, hope, heartache, secrets, motherhood, foster care, culture, socioeconomic disparities, and the complex dynamics of interracial adoption.

Overall, You Were Always Mine is an insightful, nuanced, captivating tale by Pride & Piazza that reminds us that life is complicated, messy, challenging, short, heartbreaking, as well as all those other special moments and lovely times that happen in between especially when it comes to being a mother, either biological or adoptive, to a child.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

        

 

 

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Christine Pride

Christine Pride is a writer, editor, and longtime publishing veteran. She’s held editorial posts at many different trade imprints, including Doubleday, Broadway, Crown, Hyperion, and Simon & Schuster. As an editor, Christine has published a range of books, with a special emphasis on inspirational stories and memoirs, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. As a freelance editorial consultant, she does select editing and proposal/content development, as well as teaching and coaching, and pens a regular column—“Race Matters”—for Cup of Jo. She lives in New York City.

Photograph by Christine Han

About Jo Piazza

Jo Piazza is a bestselling author, podcast creator, and award-winning journalist. She is the national and international bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels and nonfiction books including We Are Not Like Them, Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win, The Knockoff, and How to Be Married. Her work has been published in ten languages in twelve countries and four of her books have been optioned for film and television. A former editor, columnist, and travel writer with Yahoo, Current TV, and the Daily News (New York), her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, New York magazine, Glamour, Elle, Time, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast, and Slate. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in economics and communication, a master’s in journalism from Columbia University, and a master’s in religious studies from New York University.

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