Monday, April 2, 2018

Then She Was Gone Review

Title:  Then She Was Gone
Author:  Lisa Jewell
Publisher:  Atria Books
Release Date:  April 17, 2018 (originally released in paperback 7/27/17)
Purchase Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Dark, Sinister Hearts

*Many thanks to Atria Books for an arc via Netgally.

She was fifteen, her mother's golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.

It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.

Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty - and meeting her completely takes Laurel's breath away.

Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age.
And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.

What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?

Then She Was Gone is a riveting, spellbinding, heart-wrenching thriller that I couldn't put down.  The story touched my heart and sent chills down my spine.  Every parent's nightmare is a missing child, especially one that vanishes without a trace like a ghost in the wind. The worry, stress, despair, helplessness, hopelessness, blame/guilt, and heartache are devastating, often destroying families - just as it shatters missing fifteen-year-old Ellie's family.  Not ever knowing the reason for Ellie's disappearance, if she's alive or dead, still haunts her mother, Lauren, ten years later.  And then she meets a nice man, Floyd, and his lovely, brilliant, precocious nine-year-old daughter, Poppy.  Finally, Lauren begins to embrace and reconnect to life again . . . and yet, she senses that something is "off", something she can't quite put her finger on.  As the story and their relationship progresses, odd coincidences begin to surface.  And once again, Lauren's world is thrown off-kilter.  I won't discuss details and suggest readers avoid spoilers and experience this first-hand.

Through multiple points of view and switching between past and present, this heart-breaking, sinister story unfolds.  While I saw where the story was headed early, it in no way lessened my reading experience, and I soon discovered unforeseen twists.  Held captive in the dark, atmospheric setting by an ominous premonition and presence, I experienced goosebumps and was forced to absorb blow after blow just as the characters do.  Jewell sets a dire tone early, maintaining it throughout with chilling scenes and characters - each building upon the last until they all collide, and the truth is revealed.  Tears were streaming down my face as I read the last page.  Then She Was Gone is brilliantly written and delivered piece by agonizing piece.  I'll be seeking out more of this author's work.  A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Sinister Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx


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