Then She Was Gone #BookReview

Lisa Jewell | April 2018 | 359 pp

GoodReads Summary:

THEN: She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

NOW: It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.

And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.

Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go? Who still has secrets to hide?

My Experience:

The content of this one makes it hard for me to say simply ‘I enjoyed it’. If you don’t mind your dark suspenseful thriller with a side of heartbreak- this is the thriller for you.

The story is a missing persons trope which seems to be very popular in suspense thrillers. This one has a strong twist you may likely see coming, but the enjoyment comes from the journey, not the destination.

Ellie, daughter of Laurel, is an oblivious, smart, pretty, popular high school teenager, getting ready for exams, in the verge of falling in teenage puppy love, when she disappears one afternoon. The story, greater than your typical missing persons, isn’t really about the search for Ellie but, about how Ellie will spend the next year in captivity.

Pros: I enjoyed reading the evolution of Ellie. She starts out as a not so nice, oblivious, typical teen girl and eventually turns into a resilient person with greater inner strength than she or anyone would have ever imagined for herself.

Cons: Ellie’s story in captivity is almost a stand alone plot I wish we could have explored without the distraction of Laurel’s love interest (Floyd). It all comes together in the end but for some reason I see this as two books and not one. Floyd has a story as well and we will not get to hear it.

Even if some resolution was predictable, I still enjoyed the ride. Dialogue was good and characters were interesting. Its a dynamic, sad, story that still manages to squeeze some happiness into the ending – but not much. I dislike when authors want everyone to be tied up ‘nice’. That won’t happen here. Evil ends in evil and even some of the nice ones are questionably, evil. Not a lot of specifics here in an attempt to avoid spoilers. This us a great one- read it! Goodbook 23 of 42!

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