I put Then She Was Gone on hold from the library on a complete whim. Sometimes… when my hubby is working, and the kids are sleeping… Mommy gets on all the review/blogs/instagram, and goes down a huge rabbit hole putting hundreds of books on hold. This tends to get a bit awkward when I walk into the local library, and see the pile of books sitting waiting for me!! I had forgotten that this was one I had put on hold, and when I read the first page, I was completely sucked in.
Meet Ellie Mack. She’s fifteen, the youngest daughter of three, and is the apple of her mother’s eye. She is a great student, friend, sister, and now a girlfriend of the high school hottie. It’s getting close to her school exams, and she’s looking forward to big plans this summer. And then she was gone. Ellie literally disappears. Her mother, Laurel, 10 years post disappearance, has let her other two children slip from her fingers, and her marriage has fallen apart. Then, Laurel meets a man in a cafe. Before she knows it, their lives become more intertwined, and she’s meeting his daughter, Poppy. Poppy looks alarmingly like her disappeared daughter Ellie. And from here, Laurel begins to try to put the pieces of her daughters disappearance together.
Whoa. This book was fantastic. Lisa Jewell is becoming a prolific British writer, with 16 novels now published. Yet this was my first novel of hers, and I thought it was brilliant. She took a classic “thriller-type” description, and blended a family drama, a pyschological thriller, and a mystery. You are instantly sucked into the storyline of a mother’s love for her family. As much as Laurel is grieving the loss of her daughter, she is also grieving and struggling with the loss of the family members who are still her in life. Her ex-husband is just a gem of a man, and at one point you can see that he really misses his old family life, but too much damage has happened to them all.
As the father of your children, as a friend, as someone who shared a journey with you and as someone who loves you and cares about you. I don’t need to be married to you to be all those things. Those things are deeper than marriage. Those things are for ever.
Jewell’s writing is superb. You probably know the stigma… mystery/thriller… a driving plot, but ho hum writing. But, what I’ve noticed these days, is the blending of multiple genres is creating gorgeous, thrilling books… and these types of novels gained a ton of depth. Not that it’s anything like Louise Penny’s series, but the writing reminded me a lot of her style. It’s thrilling, but also poetic in nature. I 100% recommend this book to a lot of different types of readers. I actually bought Lisa Jewell’s next novel, Watching You, recently and am looking forward to digging into it soon!
Until next time, enjoy your weekend reading time!