Then She Was Gone Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 2017
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I gave it 5 stars for the craft of writing, it is well written, and the writing supports the the plot and story, in spite of what i've said re: caveat emptor.
Much of the book takes place in 2015, and is told from the point of view of Laurel Mack, the missing girl's mother. Ellie was Laurel's youngest daughter. Ellie's remains have finally been found, so maybe the family can now have some closure. Not that the family unit is still intact. Laurel was so filled with grief over the last ten years that she had nothing left of herself for her husband or her other children. Now Laurel is divorced, and is estranged from her older daughter and son.
The book alternates between 2015, back to 2005, when the story is told from Ellie's point of view. The reader learns what happened to this fifteen year girl. And, eventually, Laurel learns the truth also.
This is the third book I've read by Lisa Jewell, and I'm giving it five stars like I did the other two. But, unlike the other two, I'm not recommending it for everybody. Something awful happens in this book. Those who don't like reading disturbing things should move on to something else. Not that it's all that graphic. It's just so heartbreaking and hard to get out of your head.
Why do I like this author so much? Because, once I start one of her books, it's hard to put down. Sometimes books, even good books, feel a bit like "homework" to me. But not Lisa Jewell's books. She makes me want to know more about the characters and about what I will discover next. There's a lot of nuance in her characters. Also, I think the fact that Lisa Jewell is British is part of the charm. I love the settings, the strange brand names, the unfamiliar expressions, and words not commonly used in the U.S. I love the amount of detail, not too much and not too little.
Lisa Jewell's writing style reminds me a little of Liane Moriorty, although this particular book has some of the darkness of Gillian Flynn and is as disturbing as a Karin Slaughter book.
Top international reviews
It’s not often I’ll take the time to review books but I needed to gush about this one. The distressing reality of Laurel’s situation hits you within the first few pages and grips you until the very last. I can’t recommend this book highly enough and will be looking out for more of Lisa Jewell’s work!
Although the reader can guess where the story is headed, it's the characters realisation of the unveiling of the truth that keeps you unable to put the book down
Lisa Jewells' talent as a writer lies in her ability to invent and develop real life characters that everyone can relate to on some level.
I have read some of her books before, but this is by far my favourite.
I was a little disappointed by the end i felt it was a bit rushed but I would definitely recommend this book.
The plot is cleverly conceived and skilfully managed throughout the length of the novel bringing all to a most satisfying conclusion. In addition there is a depth of characterisation rarely found in “number one best sellers”. The personae are distinctive and their inter-relationships handled with grace and subtlety. I shall certainly go on to explore more of Ms. Jewell’s novels.
I'm not usually someone who reads into the early hours, but I read this until 1 a. m. before turning off my iPhone. Then I couldn't sleep, so had to carry on reading it to the end, at around 2.30. So why not 5 stars? Simply because I found it very disturbing and depressing, so I can't say that I really enjoyed it, despite needing to know what happened. Although I obviously like reading thrillers, I don't want to read details of a victim's suffering, and there was too much of that here for my taste. When I finally finished and switched off my iPhone, I couldn't sleep, as I felt so upset.
I much preferred Watching You by this author.
Ellie Mack was fifteen years old when she went missing and her mother considered her the perfect daughter. The youngest child of three she was loved by everyone who knew her and had recently fallen in love for the first time. Ten years later her mother Laurel is trying to get her life back, now single following her divorce from Ellie's father she meets an older man who proves to be charming. Far from anything Laurel was looking for she finds herself falling in love with Floyd. Emotions run away with her and it is not long before she is meeting his two daughters SJ and Poppy. The youngest daughter Poppy takes Laurel’s breath away because she is so similar to a younger Ellie. Laurel is unsettled by the similarity and once again she finds herself wondering about Ellie's disappearance. So many unanswered questions and this is only complicated when she discovers links to Floyd.
This is an excellent read that builds up to a thrilling climax. Story telling at it's best with excellent characters and suspense.