Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published: April 2018, Atria Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 368 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

Ten years after her teenage daughter goes missing, a woman connects with a charming single father, but she is still haunted by her child’s disappearance in this “deeply emotional and incredibly clever” (Mail Online) thriller from the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of I Found You.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a cafĂ©, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?

My thoughts: I just love Lisa Jewell's books and this one was no exception. I find that I become completely absorbed in them, not wanting to do anything but read to the detriment of anything else!

This book hooked me right from the start. And what I loved is that it is so much more than just a missing girl story. It is a layered story that it not only addicting but also quite compelling. It easily blends the psychological drama with a family drama, keeping you glued to the pages as everything starts to unravel, and the short chapters give that mentality of just one more chapter until you find yourself at the end of the book in no time at all.

I find with each Lisa Jewell book that I read that she really takes the time to develop all her characters, and she also really builds intricate relationships between the characters. We get the nuances that come with these relationships, making them all the more based in reality. It's this that makes these characters and the story itself all the more engaging.

As much as I started to suspect some parts of where the book was headed, I still found myself completely hooked until the very end. I wanted to know the why as much as the final resolution and I still hadn't worked everything out. It's a suspenseful book, slowly building that suspense over time as clues are dropped here and there. With strong characters, raw emotion, and a good story line, I found myself hard-pressed to put this book down. 

This book packs quite an emotional punch. It's a relatively fast-paced, yet highly addictive read with a great ending. I think it would be a perfect summer read!


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