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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell – Book Review

Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar, in this evocative, suspenseful drama from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell—perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Liane Moriarty.

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?

This was an emotional, psychological thriller full of twists and turns. While I found some of the turns to be predictable (and maybe that’s because I read more than my fair share of thrillers), it was overall entertaining and had a unique twist. It kept me engaged and present in the pages when I typically feel the urge to speed read, rushing to the big reveal.

I found Laurel to be such a heartbreaking character.  In losing her daughter (who would easily be considered the favorite), she completely fell apart.  She fell out of love with her husband, struggled to connect with her other daughter, and found herself excluded from the life of her son (in her opinion, because of his new girlfriend named Blue).  From page one, I wanted to give her a big squeeze and reassure her that her life would be okay, but as her story progressed I honestly don’t think I could have given her that assurance.  Her daughter went missing, ten years later they find a body, and then shortly after she meets the first man she is intimately attracted to who just so happens to have a daughter that looks identical to her missing/dead daughter?  I’m convinced this had to have happened in real life, because no one can make this stuff up.

I also found myself wishing for a different ending…not because I felt like the ending was poorly matched to the story. On the contrary, I believe this was the perfect ending. I just wished for a happier outcome for the characters’ sake, which proves how personable the characters were.

I tore through this novel so quickly but at the same time I wished it would never end. Five big stars for this amazing story!

Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy.  It is a privilege to provide my thoughts and opinions.

Xx,

Kaylie

2 thoughts on “Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell – Book Review

    1. I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I guess that’s a sign that the author absolutely nailed the characters.

      Thank you!

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