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Our Stolen Child

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Our Stolen Child
By: Melissa Wiesner
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5 stars

"I grip my husband’s hand tight. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” The doctor tells us our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”

What a heartbreaking story. Quinn has been trying relentlessly for years to have a baby with her husband James. When it looks like this is their final chance, one last embryo, they get told the devastating news that somehow that last embryo was accidentally given to someone else.

Emily was born to Nora and is now four years old. The only mother she has ever known is Nora. Now Quinn and James are fighting for custody on their biological child that they've never even known of until now.

Who has the rights to Emily? Her biological parents or a woman who carried her, birthed her and raised her? It is so incredibly hard to choose a side in this scenario. Ultimately, they all decide what is best for Emily. Heart wrenching, tragic, and you'll feel so torn throughout.

Great read, keeps you very engaged throughout. Definitely a five star read! Awesome book @melissawiesnerauthor

Thank you @netgalley and @bookouture for this ARC for my honest review 🙂
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There are some books that are actually quite difficult to review simply because it’s so hard to find the words to adequately describe them, and to do them justice. This is one of those books.

It’s a heart-breaking plot, and it feels sadly authentic. I knew that in this story, there would be no winners. Both sides had been wronged by this terrible error, but at the centre of it all was a little girl whose happiness had to be the priority.

I actually liked all the main characters in the book, and found that I couldn’t take sides in this. They were all trying to do what they felt was right for them.

I absolutely could not put this book down, and I was just completely drawn into the story. This is a book that I couldn’t wait to get back to at the end of the day, and I just had to read it compulsively until I knew the outcome.

Heart-breaking but also heart-warming, this beautifully written novel is a must-read for anyone who enjoys a poignant and emotional family drama. I can’t recommend it highly enough.
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I personally don’t like it when other authors are compared to Jodi Picoult, as her books to me are the holy grail of modern, dramatic fiction but I do have to agree that Melissa’s books are a worthy comparison and give me Jodi Picoult vibes.

At first, the dilemma and scenario felt very unbelievable but a quick Google search revealed that although rare, embryo mix ups are definitely within the realms of possibility though there are a few known cases.

I really enjoyed the complexity of the charactsrs and their layers. Quinn is a sympathetic and likeable character who learns to tread carefully in what is a very fragile situation. James, on the surface, appears to be a loyal and hardworking man but as we uncover his secrets I began to dislike him.

Meanwhile, my sympathy for Emily, Nora and their family just grew and grew. It’s clear that they have all been through a lot, but through it all have tried their best to protect the children throughout it all.

There are quite a few surprising twists, and this along with the well-developed characters and emotional storyline definitely made this into a book that is unputdownable, but also has a heartwarming message. Overall, this was undoubtedly a heart-wrenching and gripping five star read.
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Our Stolen Child by Melissa Wiesner was beautifully written from start to finish and you will need tissues and lots of them. I was gripped form the beginning till the end and I loved it. 

Big thank you to netgalley and bookouture for the arc copy in exchange for my honest opinions
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Interesting, heart breaking, thought provoking and written really well. 
A difficult book to read which presents a real moral dilemma. There were some very sad moments in this book, but there were moments that made me smile. 
I was absolutely engrossed from start to finish and could not put it down. 
Really enjoyed reading this and will look forward to other books from the same author. 
5 star read for me.
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What makes up being a parent - nature or nurture? This story starts off with Quinn and James who are desperately trying to be parents. The story gets complicated when they go to find their last embryo and it’s gone. The story goes through their saga of the child that came out of this embryo and what they will do to get her back.
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I have never read anything by Melissa Weisner but call me a new fan. I devoured this book. Many books lead with the ''unputdownable'' line. This book IS truly unputdownable! I read it in two afternoons because I had to know!! I felt a range of emotions while reading this truly heartbreaking story of a mother's love and what that means. I cannot recommend this book enough. I loved it!
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A new author to me but what an amazing book and so well written.  I loved all the characters, but I would have liked to have read more from Nora's POV to get a more balanced view, but that didn't spoil it for me.
I will be looking out for more by this author.
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Wow what a book, I was so engrossed, I couldnt put it down. 
Nora finds herself pregnant finally after trying for so long. 
Quinn, is hoping that her last attempt at IVF will be successful, excited and anxious she finds that her last chance has gone up in smoke, someone else has successfully implanted their embryo and is mother to their almost 4 yr old child. 
Quinn and her husband James now have to fight to see their biological child who was born without their consent. What will Nora have to say about having to share her baby? 
Our Stolen Child is a page turner, heart breaker and simply fabulously put together book. 
5 Stars!!!!!
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I enjoyed this third book by Melissa Wiesner. It tackles the heavy topic of infertility in a shocking way: the last embryo of James and Quinn was implanted into another woman, Nora, four plus years before the start of the story. The tale focuses on Quinn's desire for custody of that child and the ensuing court case. I think it would have been great to see Nora's point of view in this book, but Wiesner knows how to keep a reader engaged.
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A gripping read from the start. It is such an emotional story that I had no idea how it could posssibley end, but I loved how the author tied all the loose ends . This is a new author for me and I will look out for more of her work 
Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read such a wonderful ARC
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4.5/5 stars 

I read the synopsis for OUR STOLEN CHILD and I can honestly say that, lately, I’ve been skeptical of books claiming to be “unputdownable” because I’ve been disappointed by a lot of those. Well, I wad pleasantly surprised when I finished this in almost a day (if only work and responsibilities didn’t get in the way). I also didn’t think I’d be so gripped to the page considering the storyline. Not to say it didn’t intrigue me but as someone that isn’t a mother (and I don’t think dogs count in this case) I’m always curious if the story will hit me the same way it would for actual mothers.

There are all kinds of thrillers out there where a child is kidnapped or stolen but I can’t remember another I’ve read that started at the IVF stage. I haven’t personally dealt with IVF, I know people that have, but wow did Wiesner capture the rollercoaster of emotions Quinn and James go through when they find out their last embryo, their last chance at being parents, was accidentally given to someone else. It feels like you’re right there with them as they deal with these emotions and going through the process of trying to get custody of Emily.

I think the only reason I took off a little from a solid 5 star rating is because I’m not sure how I feel about the twist towards the end. Still an incredible book that was beautifully written and is guaranteed to hit you right in the feels. I know plenty of people that will probably be able to relate and connect to the characters and their struggle better than I could but I will 100% be looking for more from Wiesner in the future!
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In a Nutshell: A family drama that raises many thought-provoking questions. Predictable, especially after the midway mark, but the pacy writing kept me happy. Do check out the trigger warnings though.

Story Synopsis:
Quinn and James Marcello have been trying to conceive via IVF since 5 years. Their last resort is an embryo they had frozen five years back. To their horror, the fertility clinic informs them that their embryo had been successfully implanted in another woman long back and is now a four-year-old girl named Emily. Thus begins the dilemma. Whose daughter is Emily – of her biological parents Quinn & James, or of Nora, the woman who carried her for nine months without knowing of the switched embryo, gave birth to her, and has been her mother since then? 
The story comes to us in the third person perspective of Quinn, with the prologue and the epilogue being written in the first person perspective of Nora.

Where the book worked for me:
✔ Extremely quick-paced. It is easy to complete this within 3-4 hours.
✔ Raises interesting questions and makes you think.
✔ Details out the trauma of childless parents and the struggles of IVF.
✔ Some of the challenges of parenting are also brought out well.
✔ Despite knowing what would happen by the end, I stayed invested in the story.
✔ There are two kids in the story, Emily and her cousin Liam, and both are adorable. 
✔ The three main characters are complicated. While James’ and Nora’s shortcomings make themselves clear soon, Quinn’s take time to appear, but they are indeed present. I especially liked how she didn’t even realise for a long time that she was being judgemental about frustrated mothers while blaming the whole world for being judgemental about childless women.
✔ Some scenes seem over the top, especially where intrusive strangers asking too many personal questions and passing judgemental remarks. I might have counted this as a negative in some other book but the fact is, I've had almost every single one of those conversations in real life. I liked this touch of reality in an otherwise somewhat farfetched story.

Where the book could have worked better for me:
❌ By narrating the story from Quinn’s perspective and highlighting Nora’s shortcomings repetitively, the story indirectly forces us to choose Quinn’s side. I think this was unfair towards Nora because whatever happened certainly wasn’t Nora’s fault and there was no need to portray her so negatively. I would have been more impressed had there been alternate perspectives of both the women, narrating their struggles with the goof-up made by the fertility clinic. 
❌ It tries too hard to settle things well, especially in the way everything is tied together so perfectly by the end. A realistic ending always works better for me. But I suppose most readers do like their HEAs.
❌ Hated James’ character arc. The blurb makes a mention of “a secret from James’ past”. This is so easy to guess from the writing that after a point, you can complete the story by yourself – there are hardly any surprises. I know why this angle was taken, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. 
❌ I object to one of the points made by Quinn’s lawyer during the legal hearing. I can’t believe how easily everyone was convinced by that silly argument. 

All in all, despite the shortcomings, I did like the book. As it focusses on a dilemma that has no easy resolution, we too are kept wondering which decisions will be the best one. A quick and emotional story, better read without overanalysing the shortcomings and ignoring the implausible neat ends. I would have rated it a bit higher had it not been so “perfect” at the end.

3.5 stars.

My thanks to Bookouture and NetGalley for the DRC of “Our Stolen Child”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

Possible Triggers: THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS – PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
IVF-related trauma, childlessness-related trauma, spousal death, single parenting issues, cheating on spouse.
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BLOG TOUR REVIEW 


Review for 'Our Stolen Child' by Melissa Wiesner. 


Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Melissa Wiesner, Bookouture publishers and Bookouture anonymous 


Publication date 13th September 2022. 


This is the third book I have read by this author. I have previously read 'Her Family Secret' and 'The Girl In The Picture' which I highly recommend. 



I was originally drawn to this book by its stunning eye catching cover and its intriguing synopsis and title. The synopsis stated that 'Anyone who loves Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Diane Chamberlain and Catherine Ryan Hyde won’t be able to put this down.' I am a huge fan of Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain so am looking forward to seeing if this lives up to this statement. I am also a huge fan of Melissa Wiesner and if this is half as good as 'Her Family Secret' and 'The Girl In The Picture' it is sure to be a page turning read. I must admit I was also biased due to the publisher being Bookouture. I have yet to read a book published by Bookouture that I haven't enjoyed. Hopefully this won't be the first... Watch this space! (Written before I started reading the book).


This novel consists of a prologue, 29 chapters and an epilogue. The chapters are short to medium in length so possible to read 'just one more chapter' before bed...OK, I know yeah right, but still just in case!


This book is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA 🇺🇸 . 


This book is written in third person perspective with the main protagonists being Quinn Marcello and . The benefits of third person perspective with multiple protagonists are that it let's you see the bigger picture of what's going on and you get to know more characters more, what they are thinking and what they are doing. It feels like you get to see the whole picture and not miss out in anything.


'Our Stolen Child' discusses some topics that may upset some readers or may not be suitable for others. I like to point this out ahead of time in my reviews so you can judge if this book is for you or not. In this book Melissa discusses/includes loss of a child. 


Another absolutely gripping book Melissa well done!!! This book is beautifully written with such emotion it will have tears streaming down your eyes. The stunning cover and synopsis suit the plot perfectly. 


The storyline is a rollercoaster of emotions including heartbreak, tension, love and just so so much more. It is hard to explain in words tge emotions this book brings out. It is so heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I was absolutely captivated and absorbed throughout, a beautiful page turner. It is genuinely one of those books you just can't put down. It is also extremely thought provoking and most definitely unique! I have never come across a storyline like it in a book before!! Although the book and storyline itself is unique sadly what happens in this book isn't completely unheard of and there have been cases similar to this one in the news. I was just absolutely addicted to this gorgeous novel. It is an absolutely sensational family drama with twists and turns I just did not see coming so A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Melissa as it is getting harder and harder to shock me as recent reviews show. I am a Mum myself and OMG just the thought of being told one of my children was not actually my own, I genuinely couldn't imagine the pain. It would absolutely tear me apart. It is so hard to even think what I would do in Norma's position. Would I allow the biological family to see them at the risk of them getting attached and taking them away from me? How would I feel if I discovered it was my child that had been given away? Would I fight tooth and nail to see them or would I decide it was best not to barge into their lives and turn it upside down? Wow!!! I just could not put myself in that position, just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes!! It asks the ethical question whether biology matters. Should the gestational parent or the biological parent have more legal rights? There are so many questions raised in this book and it makes a perfect book for anyone in a book club to discuss. It makes me want to be in a book club discussing it!! Melissa has such evocative way of writing that it really does bring out all the emotions in her readers. This book is heartwarming and heartbreaking, uplifting and just an absolutely stunning addictive page turner. I absolutely LOVED the ending and I had tears streaming down my face by the end which is very rare for me so well done (I think 🤔) Melissa for making me cry lol 😂). I would absolutely love to see this book created into a movie!!!, 


Clear your schedules and grab the tissues before even turning the first page of this stunner and get ready for an absolute rollercoaster of emotions!! One of the best books I have ever read and definitely the most thought provoking!! 


The characters were realistic and each had their own unique personalities. My heart really did go out to both Nora and Quinn as mothers and as a mother myself. For Quinn, Emily is her biological child and it would be heartbreaking knowing your child is in the world, growing up and doing things that you will never see or be a part off. For Nora, Emily was physically a part of her when she was in her womb and then she spent four years raising her as her own. It isn't just Nora who would lose out as a mother but also Norma's brother who has been such a huge part of Emily's life. Liam (Nora's brother) is really sweet and is an absolutely fantastic father to Connor. I really liked his character and was invested in him along with Quinn and Nora. There was one character I could not stand but I can't say absolutely anything about them as it will spoil the story so you'll just have to read it yourself to find out! There are so many people who would be affected if either Nora kept Emily and Quinn never plays a part in her life or if Nora loses the child she has raised to Quinn. Whose side would you be on? Would you want Quinn or Nora to take over Emily's life? I'll give you a hint........... Read this fast paced, emotionally charged page turner to find out 😉 


OMG Melissa!!! When will I learn? Always have a box of tissues at the ready and clear my schedule when I pick up one of your books as they are guaranteed storyline that I will completely lose myself in and end up in tears!! 


.This is EXACTLY why you are one of my favourite authors and bring out the same emotions as reading a Jodi Picoult and Nicholas Sparks book brings out in me. They have definitely got competition in you!! 


Congratulations Melissa on yet another absolutely stunning, riveting success. This would make an absolutely gorgeous movie and I am looking forward to your next successful novel!!! 


Overall a must read, gorgeous, addictive page turner that will take your breathe away and have you absolutely sucked in with tears streaming down your face!! 



Genres covered in this novel include Romance Literary Fiction, Women's Literary Fiction, Family Drama and Literary Fiction amongst others. 


I would recommend this book to the fans of the above as well as fans of Nicholas Sparks, Kerry Fisher, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult’s 'My Sister’s Keeper', Catherine Ryan Hyde and absolutely anyone who loves an absolutely breathe taking, emotionally charged and addictive page turner!!! 


289 pages.


This book is just £1.99 to purchase on kindle or free on kindle unlimited (at time of review) and £7.99 in paperback via Amazon which I think is an absolute bargain for this book!!! 


Rated 5 /5 (I LOVED it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Amazon US and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 


Feel free to add me on Goodreads or follow me on my website or Facebook for more reviews 


#OurStolenChild #Bookouture #MelissaWiesner #NetGalley #BookReview #BlogTour #BooksOnTour

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Our Stolen Child, Melissa Wiesner

Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Women's Fiction. 

Annnd once more – why women's fiction? I can#'t see any reason why a man wouldn't want to read this? 

So, the book. It made me cry, there are no winners in situations like this. It did make me feel very much sad for both sides, for the trauma and strain on everybody. I love Jodi Picoult's novels, and this really did remind me of one of those. The story is set so much that you feel for both sides, there are unexpected twists, I couldn't just say X was right and Y wasn't. It was a terrible mistake, a tragedy that couldn't have been foreseen. 
I was thinking “how would I feel if I were Quinn?” Of course I'd want my baby, the child that calls another woman mummy. Quinn had already lost four years of her. But then Nora, who carried Emily, believing she was her embryo, who's loved and cared for her since birth – where does that leave her. Then Emily herself, she sees Nora as mummy, but doesn't she have the right to know James as Quinn who should have been her parents and of course are, biologically. 
Its a story that really tugs at the emotions, where there is no “good “ answer. Someone is going to be heartbroken whatever the result. Yet Melissa manages to navigate a way through the quagmire, though there's much heartbreak all round before the ending. 

Stars: A five, a gripping, emotional tale that had me glued to the page. 


ARC supplied by Netgally and publishers
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Our Stolen Child
by Melissa Wiesner 
5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pub Date : Sep.13 2022
Publisher : Bookouture

Description : 
I grip my husband’s hand tight. The doctor is frowning. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” She tells us there’s been a terrible mistake. Our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”
Quinn cries silent tears as she folds a tiny knitted cardigan, bought in a moment of hope, and packs it away. All she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Although her husband James brings her comfort, the knowledge they have no embryos left, and that their child is out there being raised by another family, is tearing them both apart.
When the lawyers tell them there’s a chance to get custody, James is unsure. But Quinn knows she has to take it: if only to look her little girl in the eyes, just once. Meeting Emily and the woman who raised her, Quinn’s heart cracks wide open. Emily looks just like Quinn, right down to her curly hair. And when the little girl flings her arms around Quinn’s waist, she can’t shake the feeling this is where Emily is meant to be. As the two families reckon with an unimaginable decision, a secret from James’ past surfaces… one that forces Quinn to question everything she thought she wanted. But how will they decide what’s right for the little girl they all love so dearly? And where does Emily truly belong?
        😭 MY REVIEW 😭 
Where does Emily truly belong? When I started this 
unputdownable, heart-wrenching read I had no idea who I would be rooting for. But as I got further into the book the question that stayed in my mind does DNA or almost 5 years spent raising a child make you the mom? Having raised my granddaughter since she was born and who is now 5 this story hit home for me.  For me if you have raised that child from birth to that child being almost 5 then you become that mom. Not only did you bond with that child but that child has bonded with you. Your all that child has known and loved. Your who that child wants when they are hurt, sick, or scared. And unlike some people may think, children are not resilient.  Especially when it comes to trama. 

   I think the one thing that would have really made this story more of a heartbreaking tear jerking read that would have pushed it over the top was if we had chapters from Nora. I kept reading expecting any minute the chapters would turn to Nora but they never do until the Epilogue. Never less the author does a great job of keeping you turning the pages. The ending is very different and one you don't really expect. So who ends up with Emily? If you want to know then you are just going to have to read it because I am not going tell you. 

******Disclosure*******
I received a free E -ARC copy of this book from netgalley prior to release. Many thanks to NetGalley ,the publisher and the author for the chance to read and review a copy of this interesting book in exchange for my honest review. I do not receive any type of compensation for reading & reviewing free books from publishers & authors. Therefore, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one.  All opinions I have expressed are my own. As always if you like the book you read please take the time to leave a review for the author in places like goodreads & Amazon. It does not have to be long. Just a few sentences saying you liked the book will do. Authors really appreciate every review they get !

 
#NetGalleyReviewer 
 #OurStolenChild #NetGalley.
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Our Stolen Child grabs you right at the beginning and will not let you go. Quinn and her husband James are trying desperately to have a child, but their attempts at invitro fertilization have failed. Quinn is about to embark on their final chance with their one last embryo when she is given the worst possible news. The embryo was accidentally given to someone else and is now an almost four-year-old girl.

Quinn’s reaction and the devastation of both families will rip your heart out. The battles that evolve from this, both legal and emotional, kept me glued to the page. Then secrets emerge that take this book to another level as Quinn tries to decide what is best for Emily. The unimaginable situation, the ethical impact, and the murky secrets revolving around James make this a “must keep reading now” type of book. When I finally set this book down, I had finished it. Gripping, powerful, and compelling, Our Stolen Child will keep you mesmerized until the end.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.
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I read this book a couple weeks ago and I still don't really know how to review this book so I'm going to just say what comes to mind and hope it makes sense in the end. Our Stolen Child is an emotional and riveting story. I couldn't help but feel for both of these women but also for their families. I couldn't imagine what it would be like to live through something like that. It's a fast paced story full of twists that start from the very first chapter along with feeling every emotion you can think of. It's a powerful and beautifully written heartbreaking story. Thank you Bookouture and Melissa Wiesner!
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Quinn and James Marcello have gone through their finances in their attempts to have a child. They have also stripped their emotions raw. With one last embryo, making this IVF treatment their very last chance, they are truly hopeful that this time they will have a child. However, when they are about to begin the procedure, they get the most shocking news. Their embryo is missing. 

While awaiting news of the location of their embryo, they keep their hopes alive. But, their next bit of news is even more shocking. The embryo had been implanted in another woman's womb several years previously, and there is now a nearly four-year-old child being raised by someone else.

This is unbelievably unimaginable to Quinn and James. Their daughter has been here for close to four years and now Quinn will move heaven and earth to involve herself in the child's life. The little girl's name is Emily, and Quinn will not rest until she at least meets her daughter. However, that just is not enough, thus a lawsuit for Emily's custody is set in motion by Quinn, with James simply going along for the ride.

What a different concept for an utterly compelling story. This is not unheard of in real events, as news reports will show. Melissa Wiesner has captured emotions that might truly be felt if such a terrible situation occurred. The ethical question continually raised in this book is whether biology matters. Who has more rights, the gestational parent or the biological parents? Legal rights have to be explored, but hopefully not at the cost of the child's welfare. Also, as Quinn and James has already put their marriage under a considerable amount of stress with IVF treatment after treatment, this impending court case might just be too much weight for their marriage to bear. 

It was impossible not to feel for both mothers - for Quinn, but also for Nora, who carried Emily in her womb, and who has been raising Emily these nearly four years. There is also Nora's brother, the father of Emily's little cousin and best friend. The story goes past exploring Quinn and Nora's emotions, but other emotions as well. However, as sad as many moments in this story are, there is a thread of hope carried through, and it is only by reading this book that the reader will find out what happened with Emily, Quinn, Nora and the rest of their families.

Kudos to Melissa Wiesner for writing such an emotionally riveting read. I love it when an author makes the reader feel, especially when it comes to the heartbreak one or both mothers experienced through the pages of this book. I do love how everything turned out and the warm and satisfying conclusion truly touched my heart.
 
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
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First, I want to thank Melissa Wiesner, Bookouture and NetGalley for providing me with this book so I can bring you this review.

Ohh I knew just from the beautiful cover and the title alone that I needed to stock up on tissues for Melissa Wiesner’s Our Stolen Child! WOW!! I am not a Mom but wow this story touched me and pulled on all my heart strings. If I was crying over the storyline I can’t imagine how Melissa got through writing the story! 

Many of Melissa’s readers who have struggled with IVF will be able to relate to this storyline. Even the twist she has up her sleeve. 

Words could not express how much my heart ached for all that Quinn was going through in Our Stolen Child. I felt like I was right next to her as all this was unfolding and wanted to be there to support her. Heaven forbid James would be (oh he rubbed me the wrong way from the beginning and at one point I yelled at my kindle!) 

At the same time I was totally conflicted with the big twist and didn’t know how I felt about that. 

One thing is for sure, sweet Emily made my heart melt! She was the cutest little girl ever and so innocent in all of this!

I have a very soft spot for Pittsburgh as my sister and her family live there so I smiled when I learned that was the setting of the book. Small world but I actually know where Squirrel Hill is.

Oh the ending came as a totally pleasant surprise!! I was smiling ear to ear and crying happy tears. 

This is a beautifully written story that is a must read book!
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