You wake up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see your child. And when you are shown the small infant in the nursery, a terrible thought takes root: this baby is not your baby.
No one believes you. Not the nurses, your father or even your own husband. They say you’re confused and delusional. Dangerous.
But you’re a doctor – you know how easily mistakes can be made. It’s up to you to find your real child, your miracle baby, before it’s too late.
With everyone against you, is it safe to trust your instincts? Or are memories from your past clouding your judgement? This can’t all be in your head . . . can it?
It’s anyone’s worst nightmare, isn’t it? Knowing the truth and being unable to make other people believe what you’re telling them. It’s one of those dreams that haunts you the whole of the next day and I think that’s why I got so engrossed in this book. A good read often works because it taps into something in your psyche and scares you because you recognise that feeling – and Susi Fox has definitely pulled this off with aplomb in Mine
I loved the name of this novel and I felt that it really managed to convey something of the darkness at its heart. As well as a plaintive cry of possession for her tiny daughter that she is now told doesn’t exist, a mine is a dark and lonely space, below ground level where you are cut off from the rest of humanity – and this is very much how it feels for Sasha as this novel progresses.
This is a deft and captivating debut novel that knows how to play on our primal fears and exploits them very skilfully indeed. Sasha’s years of trying unsuccessfully to have a baby make her plight all the more devastating as she is left with a son she feels has usurped her daughter’s place and feeling like nobody believes her. Sasha’s medical background means that she is all too aware that your mind can do strange things once you’ve given birth, nevertheless she is adamant that this is not her baby and all the more determined to be heard.
Sasha and Dan’s relationship is also convincingly drawn and their long journey towards parenthood sympathetically described by Susi Fox. The narrative structure of this novel means that you are constantly questioning the information you’ve been given. Is the narrator telling you the truth – or merely the truth as they see it? Switching from the present day, within the confines of the hospital to their past and fertility treatment is a very effective method for making us question Sasha, even as we sympathise with her because of the situation she believes herself to be in.
I found myself wondering who was behind this elaborate switch and how it would all unravel as the book sped towards its conclusion – and then switching to thinking that maybe they were all right and it was all in Sasha’s head. Still, no spoilers, so you’ll just have to read Mine for yourself in order to find out the truth…
Mine is a dark, unsettling and gripping read that keeps you guessing right up until the end. It poses interesting questions about what we call ‘instinct’ and how much we should trust it, even when all of the evidence would point to the contrary. I enjoyed its strong narrative voice and the fact that it definitely held my interest throughout a sunny May afternoon. I devoured it in one sitting in my refurbished garden and think you’ll definitely love it too if you pack it in your case as one of your summer reads over the next few months.
To learn more about the author of Mine, Susi Fox visit her website here.
Writer on the Shelf
Susi is a GP and writer of medical thrillers.
Her short stories have been published in Farrago, Visible Ink, The Medical Journal of Australia, page seventeen and Star Observer and have received various awards and shortlistings.
She lives in the Macedon Ranges with her family and is completing an Associate Degree in Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT while writing her next novel and working part-time as a GP.