This book was on my reading list almost from the moment it was released. There was a lot of anticipation surrounding it, and every review I read seemed to be really positive, so I thought it was definitely one for me, especially as it fell into my favourite genre.
And the first thing to say here is that all of those positive reviews were totally spot-on. It is a wonderful read, so I simply sped through it on my Kindle.
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.
Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet.
But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.
Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.
Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
This is a brilliantly written and constructed thriller, full of complex characters and relationships. It had me engaged right from the start, and I remained intrigued throughout, as numerous questions formed in my mind and were eventually answered in a terrific, though unexpected ending.
Laurel is the central character, and Jewell captures her perfectly as a grieving mother who has struggled to move on from the disappearance of her daughter, Ellie. She has a strained relationship with her family, but everything changes completely when she meets Floyd.
The conversations that the two of them have about Floyd’s past struck me as being remarkably open, and the fact his daughter Poppy looks so much like Ellie adds even further questions. Floyd is such a thought-provoking character – Jewell keeps you guessing about what his motives are, and I really enjoyed trying to work him out.
The themes of the book are handled well. It does get very chilling in places, and emotional in others. The epilogue left me on the verge of tears, and sometimes it got so tense that there were several moments where I let out a little gasp!
So overall, this is a book that definitely had an impact on me. The characters are drawn with such depth, and it keeps you guessing. If you were looking for a complex and emotional thriller, then I would recommend it.
Then She Was Gone contains themes such as grief, a child going missing, animal cruelty, and sexual content. If any of these are likely to trigger a negative response, then it would be best to skip this book.
This is the first book I have read by Lisa Jewell, which is interesting because she has written plenty in the thriller genre. I guess this one has just received the most publicity to date…
Anyway, she published her first book in 1996, and Then She Was Gone is her 10th. She lives in North London (around the same area where this book was set), with her husband, her two daughters, and two cats.
A book which I liked very much from beginning to end. I award it 4.5 stars.
Happy reading 🙂