Title/Author: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
Publisher: Atria Books
In a nutshell (Publisher):
Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. Beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers, and half of a teenaged golden couple. Ellie 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?
My verdict: Another unforgettable, page-turner by Lisa Jewell!
Oh wow. I think Lisa Jewell is going to be my auto-read author from now on. I’m so glad I discovered her via ‘The Family Upstairs‘, my first of hers and definitely won’t be my last!
Poppy was the golden girl of the family, the one everyone doted on, had gone missing. There were no helpful clues until 10 years later when life had resumed for most of her family members, including her mother who had pinned hopes for her return.
Laurel had met the love of her life, Floyd, an author, a divorcee and a father of two. Not only did he share a certain resemblance to her ex husband, but his youngest daughter looked a lot like Ellie, her missing daughter.
She was able to forgive her husband who had moved on before her and had started his new life. Everything was perfect until Laurel began feeling uneasy with Floyd and his obsession with her and his affection for Poppy. It didn’t feel right and natural. Her suspicions were confirmed when Blue, her son’s girlfriend, told her that Floyd has a dark aura. When she finally decided to investigate and dig deeper, she opened a can of worms.
Timeline was divided between Then and Now, and was told by the point of views of Laurel, Ellie, Noelle and Floyd. And, what a ride this was! Lisa Jewell certainly didn’t disappoint. The story was gripping, creepy and absolutely horrifying. I could guess Ellie’s murderer right from the start, but that didn’t stop me from turning the pages because I still couldn’t connect the dots. Why did this person kill Ellie? And when the murderer was finally revealed, and the dots started connecting, oh, my, goodness, I was riveted. And my, was I shocked to find out why. It was sickening!
This is my second Jewell book after ‘The Family Upstairs‘ which I absolutely loved. I think she really mastered the art of keeping the reader in suspense. She took time developing her characters, which I loved, while letting the plot develop gradually, and never once my attention was wavered.
Not only did I enjoy the plot, but its character building was done exceptionally well too. I can’t help but feel Laurel’s loss and her struggle to bond with Hanna, her other daughter. Then there was also Ellie, whose life was full of promise, but ended tragically. And Poppy, oh Poppy. I grew to love Poppy. So much! What a character! And my oh my, the things she had to deal with at such a young age, and how she faced them with such bravery and maturity. We need more Poppy-s in this world.
This is yet another page-turner by Lisa Jewell! Read it if you haven’t. But be warned, it was pretty creepy.Tweet
I’m looking forward to reading her latest, ‘Invisible Girl!‘
Have you read this book? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you intend to? Please share with me your thoughts!
Till then, stay safe & well! Happy Reading!