Book Review – Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (Century) ISBN: 9781780896427

It’s been ten years since the beautiful 15-year-old, Ellie Mack disappeared, but Laurel never gave up hope of finding her daughter.

Then She Was Gone is a heart-breaking story about a mother’s worst nightmare, and how it destroys a family. Laurel and Paul’s marriage disintegrates, and their other two children are alienated in the process.

As Laurel finally comes to terms with the loss of Ellie, a charming stranger named Floyd sweeps her off her feet. When she meets his nine-year-old daughter, Poppy, she’s shocked. Poppy is precocious and pretty – and she looks just like Ellie.

Lisa Jewell is one of my favourite authors. She is just so darn readable. She creates characters so real that you know you could meet them in the street. Then She Was Gone may seem implausible at times, but it’s so well-written, you’ll hardly notice.

Amanda Patterson

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell (Penguin Random House) ISBN 9781780896427

Ellie was fifteen, in love and the apple of her mother’s eye when she disappeared. Laurel will never stop hoping that she is found, but realises this is an unlikely dream. It’s time to let her go – it’s already destroyed the family. What a horrible tragedy.

So Laurel moves on, as one does. She meets Floyd, who seems too good to be true, and who has a daughter who looks very much like Ellie.

Lisa Jewell wrote of this book – “Then She Was Gone is my fifteenth novel and probably my darkest to date. I can’t tell you too much here about the genesis of the book because that would be a total spoiler, but I can tell you that I went down a few wrong turnings on the way to the finished book and that when I finally worked out where I was supposed to be going the whole thing came racing out of me pages at a time and I wrote it in just over ten weeks – which was pretty exhilarating!”

That intrigued me. And I have to say I loved how this book turned out. Dark – yes. Sad – I already said that. True to life – absolutely. The characters were great, and the plot exceptional. The family inter-relationships, as usual, sound as clear as bells through all the witty dialogue.

Another eminently readable unputdownable Jewell.

Bev Bouwer

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Posted on: 28th October 2017