Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Ellie Mack was fifteen when she went missing. She was headed to the library to study but apparently never arrived. Analysis of camera footage resulted in no leads and no suspects leading the police to believe that Ellie must have run away of her own accord. But Ellie's mother knows different. Ellie was happy, she had a future, she would never have run away. 

As time has passed, Laurel has tried to put her life back together. She and her husband divorced and she has a strained relationship with her other two children. But when she meets Floyd, she thinks she might finally be ready to live again. And then she meets Floyd's young daughter, Poppy, who looks so much like Ellie at that age. And as Laurel grows closer to Floyd and Poppy, she finds she isn't quite ready to give up on finding the truth about Ellie after all. 

Have you read Lisa Jewell yet? Have you!? If not, stop what you're doing and go buy one of her books. I'm serious!

When I started Then She Was Gone, I expected to be sucked in. That has definitely been the case with previous titles I've read by the author, but I was still surprised when I looked up from the book to realize that I'd read over half of it in just one sitting!

Ellie is the perfect daughter. Laurel certainly thought so. And unfortunately she made it all too clear to the rest of her family just how perfect Ellie was and just how devastated she was when Ellie went missing. She's harsh on her husband, and realizes it. There's no love lost when they split, certainly. But she doesn't quite realize just how far she's pushed her other children away. At least not until she has news to share with them: that she's met a man and might be falling for him.

And while it's not odd for Laurel to finally be moving on, what is odd is that this new man has a young daughter who doesn't just remind Laurel of Ellie, she's the spitting image of the missing girl.

As the reader, we're treated to Ellie's story. Chapters narrated by the teen slowly reveal exactly what her fate was as Laurel herself comes closer to the truth. And it's not a pretty story by any means, but it is a completely compelling one!

Jewell's knack is for creating stories that draw you in with both the overarching mystery but also the characters. They're flawed and real and so human. And that, paired with the question of what happened to Ellie, is the perfect combination for a story that sucks you in from the very start and doesn't let up until the end!

1 comment:

Dianna said...

Pinned this one. I haven't read anything by this author yet!