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Book Review: Then She Was Gone

book review then she was gone

Our first book club read of 2024 did not disappoint! Ya'll know how much I love suspense, and this novel had it all.

Pros: Suspense and lots of it.

Cons: Cursing, intimacy between unmarried people, and open discussion of intimacy, however, all bedroom scenes were behind closed doors.

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

My Thoughts:

Some reviewers of Then She Was Gone complain that we, as readers, know too much in the very beginning of the novel. Laurel's daughter Ellie disappears into thin air at the age of fifteen. Ten years later her family has moved on in their own ways. Laurel hasn't given up hope of finding her golden girl, but her depression over loss created a rift between her, her husband, and their remaining children.

When Laurel meets Floyd, she finds herself moving forward in life a little lighter despite the loss. Then she meets Floyd's daughter, who looks oddly like Ellie.

I love the way Lisa Jewell tells the story from all the viewpoints.

Ellie talks us through the weeks leading up to her disappearance. Her boyfriend was outpacing her in school, and she wanted to score well on upcoming exams. She's like most teens her age, self-absorbed. The whole world revolves around her and her needs.

Laurel walks us through life from her perspective since Ellie disappeared. She's struggling, as I imagine any mother would, but her family still needs her even though her other children are grown now. I do think Laurel could have been more discerning in choosing her new boyfriend. Her family, and the reader, has plenty of red flags. But perhaps she was so subconsciously ready for life to feel more positive, that she ignored those.

And we finally see the scenes through the eyes of those we suspect may have been involved. Not everyone is who they seem to be.

Although Lisa gives us a lot of the "what happened" up front, she saves the details for the end.

This is the first novel by Lisa Jewell that I have read, but I expect to see her name on my TBR pile again.


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