book review: Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Published by: Atria Books
Published on: April 17, 2018
[first published July 27, 2017]
Pages: 426 [hardcover]
*Then She Was Gone was my Book of the Month pick for April*
Laurel Mack has two children, but she used to have three. 10 years ago, Ellie, her teenage daughter disappeared. The police chalk it up to a typical teenage runaway. Ellie is/was opinionated, smart, and stunning. Now, Laurel is devastated, divorced, and has a distant relationship with her other two children.
Unanticipated, Laurel meets a charming, intellectual man. For the first time in a decade, she has butterflies and a spirited view on life. Not long after they start dating, they are sleeping at each other’s houses, introducing families, and spending holidays together.
Various unsettling coincidences involving Laurel’s new boyfriend and her missing daughter begin to emerge. She is finally happy, but daunting thoughts continue to creep into her mind. She tries to push the thoughts aside, but finding her daughter will always be her number one priority.
Early on, I had inklings of what happened to Ellie. Even so, I feverishly read the book in a single sitting to find out how, who, what, when, why. I needed to know the details. I was irked that the police did not do more; they assumed she must have run away because of the stress of imminent final exams. Quite unlikely, as Ellie was generally a happy and ambitious girl.
It is not a challenging read, I would categorize it as a guilty-pleasure mystery. Although the predictability of the story is apparent, I would certainly recommend this book.