Saturday, May 12, 2018

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Title: Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: Published April 17, 2018

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 caf√©, 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?

I was able to guess the last third of Then She Was Gone. I was hoping I was wrong. Alas, it was not meant to be. 

Then She Was Gone begins with the disappearance of fifteen-year-old Ellie. She disappears in route to the library. The police believe she might have run away. Her mother, Laurel disagrees. She knows something is wrong. She knows something has happened to her. As the days pass, Laurel is thrown into a depression. There are no new leads and not too long later, Ellie becomes a cold case.

Fast forward a decade and a new development come to light. At the same time, she meets a man, by the name of Floyd. He's the first man she has felt attracted to since she divorced her husband Paul. Her marriage and her relationship with her other two children both suffered after Ellie disappeared.

Floyd has a daughter, Poppy. Poppy continually reminds Laurel of her own daughter Ellie. Maybe because of it, Laurel begins to get closer to her. At the same time, her relationship with Floyd is better than ever until it's not. Something just doesn't add up and what does it have to do with her daughter's vanishing?

Despite the mystery being fairly predictable, I thought the narrative was well done. There were a couple of very unlikable characters. If you ask me, I will tell you they were quite creepy. They contributed to give a sense of darkness and grittiness to the storyline. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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