Book reviews, thriller

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

3 stars

Then She Was Gone moves at a perfect pace.  Lisa Jewell’s witty, clever writing style that makes you just want to keep reading combined with some short chapters, so it’s easy to say “just one more” and you will want to say that because although you will think it’s easy to figure out what is going on, you will want to know if you are right.

Then She Was Gone is a character-driven thriller, as Ellie’s family and people affected by her disappearance navigate their lives.  The characters’ reactions to what had happened to them was realistic, the way they process things and move on, figure out what they need and what is acceptable to them and how to heal in their new normal all felt very real to me.  As a homeschool mom, I thought Poppy was a VERY REALISTIC homeschool kid (I have met some very much like her!) and I appreciate that Lisa Jewell gets it right.

This is a “truth is stranger than fiction” kind of novel.  There were times when I questioned the plausibility of these things happening, but then I thought “the truth is often stranger than fiction”.  Proximity was on the side of possibility and the rest is explained further on in the novel.



From the Publisher:

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 café, 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 had high hopes for this book.  I LOVE Lisa Jewell’s charming, witty writing style. I want to hang out with her and chat.  She has such a lovely way of writing.  And although I really did enjoy this book, it is not my favorite of her books.



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