Fiction Book Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. Atria, $26 (p) ISBNShe 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.
Then She Was Gone Audiobook Review by Lisa Jewell
Then She Was Gone
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell was one of those books that piqued my interest, embarrassingly enough, partially because of the cover. Instead, I wanted something fast and entertaining to read, which is generally when I turn to mystery-thrillers. For the Detailed Plot Summary, click here or scroll all the way down. Laurel, her mother, along with the rest of her family was left with no answers in a case that failed to produce any leads. See it on Amazon. I think I was expecting something similar to the other recent mystery bestsellers like The Wife Between Us or something like that. Jewell sincerely tries to tackle the subject of the family struggling from the weight of their loss, and it gives the book a little more heft.
Ellie, fifteen, is smart, in love, and preparing for her exams. She convinces her reluctant but indulging mother she needs a tutor for her maths exams. Little does she know, hiring that tutor will change everything, and not in a good way. The tutor brings little treats and tries hard to make Ellie like her, but Ellie soon tires of the tutor and convinces her mother to let the woman go. Soon after, Ellie disappears. The story picks up ten years later. But one day while in a coffee shop, Laurel is approached by a man, Floyd, who sweeps her off her feet.
Thank you! Ten years after her teenage daughter went missing, a mother begins a new relationship only to discover she can't truly move on until she answers lingering questions about the past. She drifted away from her other two children, Hanna and Jake, and eventually she and her husband, Paul, divorced. Both of these sections primarily focus on Laurel. All of these devices serve to build palpable tension, but the structure also contributes to how deeply disturbing the story becomes. At times, the characters and the emotional core of the events are almost obscured by such quick maneuvering through the weighty plot.