This story has haunted me since it made news headlines way back in 1997, I couldn’t imagine what it must be like to have your baby kidnapped from right next to you and of course, it captured all of our imaginations when Zephany was found 17 years later. So I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy Zephany: Two Mothers, One Daughter and read Zephany’s story!
About The Book
The kidnapping of baby Zephany Nurse from the cot beside her mother’s hospital bed made headline news. Desperate pleas from her parents to return her safely went unanswered. There was no trace of the baby. For seventeen years, on her birthday, the Nurses lit candles and hoped and prayed. Living not far away from the Nurses, 17-year-old Miché Solomon had just started Matric. She had a boyfriend. She had devoted parents. She was thinking about the upcoming school dance and the dress her mother was going to make for her. She had no idea that a new girl at her school, who bore an uncanny resemblance to her, and a DNA test would shake her world to its foundations. Miché is now 22. This is her story – for the first time in her own words. Told with astonishing maturity, honesty, and compassion, it is also a story of what it means to love and be loved, and of claiming your identity.
I’m not usually a big fan of autobiographical type novels, but having followed this story through news publications over the years, I was fascinated to read about Miche’s story. For so many years, on her birthday, I’d watch news interviews with her parents as they fought to keep their story in the news and at the forefront of our minds in their desperate search to find their long lost daughter.
But we never knew Miche’s story. We didn’t even know her name, the name given to her by her kidnapper, her non-biological mother, the name she has chosen to keep, Miche. I was sucked in by her story, I kept imagining what it must have been like to be her, a young girl, in matric and then suddenly a wrecking ball swings through her life and changes EVERYTHING she thought she knew about herself.
It’s a fascinating story. As an adoptive mother, I was especially interested in how Miche eventually related to her biological parents, how she never ever felt connected to them after they were reunited and even though her mother had committed the ultimate crime against her, her kidnapping and living with that lie, how Miche has forgiven and loved her mother through all of this and how she still sees her kidnapper as her mother and her biological mother as not her “real” mother.
This book is also such an incredible true-life account of love, commitment, and forgiveness. Aside from Miche, the victim in all of this, my heart also really went out to Michael, the man who raised Miche as his daughter, who was in so many ways, a victim in all of this too, and how he was left to single parent Miche through the tumultuous imprisonment and then trial of his wife for Miche’s kidnapping.
I loved this book but did feel that there was a bit of repetition of the story, given that it’s told from the various player’s points of view. For that reason, I’m rating it a solid 4 star!