Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
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?
THEN SHE WAS GONE by Lisa Jewel is a PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER at its best that made me acutely aware of life’s tenuousness and the importance of heeding one’s intuition. This well-written novel is told in MULTILAYERED POVs―the voices of the main character’s Laurel, Ellie, Noelle, and Floyd, seamlessly interwoven from past to present, illuminating the disturbing and tragic disappearance of fifteen-year-old Ellie. A disappearance that ended her parent’s marriage, and created a rife between Laurel and her other children.
With a single basement window view of CHERRY BLOSSOMS, Ellie longs to be home, to see her family again. Will she ever leave that room?
What if Ellie had told her mother her math tutor, Noelle Donnelly, creeped her out. What if she’d simply said no that day and walked away. But Ellie didn’t HEED her INSTINCTS. Instead, she ignored the nagging intuition she’d felt the first day Noelle stepped into her home. As I continued to read, I wondered if the antagonist were a man would I have felt as disgusted. Ms. Jewell’s use of a FEMALE ANTAGONISTS made the story even more troubling. But as in real life, evil doesn’t discriminate by gender.
Ms. Jewell’s novel is a CHILLING and EMOTIONAL PAGE-TURNER filled with numerous twists and turns. The pace is perfect, never a dull moment, and suspense builds to a conclusion that will make you smile and cry simultaneously. Art imitates life or life imitates art. I’m sure in this story it’s both. Then She Was Gone is a BRILLIANT and SUSPENSEFUL thriller I recommend highly. Mrs. Jewel, thank you for the emotional ride and well-written story!