Then She Was Gone: Book summary and reviews of Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone

A Novel

by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell X
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2018
    368 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar...

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She 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. 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?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won't see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted." - Booklist

"Skillfully told by several narrators (some of them ghostly), Jewell's gripping novel is an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal." - Publishers Weekly

"For thriller readers, Jewell's latest will not disappoint. Sharply written with twists and turns, it will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." - Library Journal

"Dark and unsettling, this novel's end arrives abruptly even as readers are still moving at a breakneck speed." - Kirkus Reviews

"If you were the first of your friends to read Girl On The Train, and have read Gone Girl more times than you can remember, then here is your summer read." - The Sun (UK)

"Smart and engrossing." - Sunday Mirror (UK)

"A dark, compulsive psychological thriller, yet one which is also uplifting and tender. I absolutely loved Then She Was Gone." - Rachel Rhys, author of Dangerous Crossing

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Reader Reviews

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Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Then She Was Gone
A very odd set of characters awaits the reader in THEN SHE WAS GONE.

Two families are the main focus and somehow they become blended by a chance meeting.

Laurel’s family has been mourning their daughter Ellie’s death for ten years, and then her body is found. Meanwhile the family has fallen apart - a divorce for Paul and Laurel and sort of an estrangement between their children. Floyd‘s family has a precocious daughter, Poppy, who looks like Ellie and a sister that is quite different.

The more time Laurel spends with Poppy, the more confused she becomes about her personality, her outlook on life, and how Laurel sees her dead daughter in Poppy.

Laurel finds clues that seem to connect Floyd and Poppy to Ellie.

THEN SHE WAS GONE had an undercurrent of doom and sinister things lurking. The sinister thing seemed to be the tie to all of the heartache the characters were experiencing both present and past.

THEN SHE WAS GONE kept my interest, but I can't say it was a thriller until the past was coming into the picture and the book went back in time to tell us the story of how Ellie went missing. It was more of a study of personalities and families as well as lies.

If you enjoy a turn-around, revealing ending with a few creepy characters, you will enjoy THEN SHE WAS GONE.

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Author Information

Lisa Jewell Author Biography

Photo: Lucinda Chua

Lisa Jewell was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels, including The Girls in the Garden, The House We Grew Up In and The Third Wife.

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