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Rocky Hill United States of America
Then She Was Gone
Jan 04, 2019 10:31 AM 1157 Views
(Updated Jan 07, 2019 05:24 AM)



More than mother and daughter, they were best friends,

Her disappearance is now fraught with clues that are odds and ends,

Plunging her family into gloom and feelings forlorn,

She left home one day and Then She Was Gone.

Why I picked this: It is fascinating how many new books have the word ‘Gone’ in the title. While choosing my next read, I was surfing through the library bookshelves in the ‘Mystery’ genre and selected 3 books. Coincidentally, those 3 books are ‘Gone Girl’, ‘Then she Was Gone’ and ‘Last Girl Gone’! To avoid confusions, I spread them apart in my reading spectrum and just finished with the first one: Then She was Gone by Lisa Jewell.

Plot: It has been 15 years since Laurel’s 15-year-old daughter Ellie disappeared. She was last seen going to the library near-by. Laurel is still stuck at that moment when she had spoken to her eldest daughter. Now, she has a daughter and a son. However, the bond that she shared with her eldest is nowhere near her relationship with her other children. After running from pillar to post, attending courtrooms, trying to find clues with the police and hiring private investigators, she has completely ignored her family that is with her. As a result, 15 years later, she is divorced, living alone but still searching. Her children treat her like a stranger or distant relative.

The moment the confirmation emerges that Ellie is no more, there is a sudden closure to the ‘Missing’ case. Though distraught, she feels at peace since she also has experienced closure in her mind. She now meets a charming gentleman who has gone through a similar situation with his missing wife. His 9-year-old daughter Poppy bears a striking resemblance to her own daughter Ellie. However, Poppy is irksome for not only Laurel but also the reader! She has a know-it-all attitude like a 17-year-old and asks tons of questions like a 5-year-old.

With this kindred situation get these 2 strangers together? Will she ever find out what happened to Ellie?

My Opinion:

If there is an author who writes ridiculously ordinary stories featuring weak characters but with eloquence, flair and in-depth human psychological knowledge, it is Lisa Jewell. By the time you are hating the characters, you are loving the narration and just can’t put the story down!

Her titles are completely misleading. After reading the title and the synopsis, I inferred that this would be a mystery where a mother would find clues to the disappearance of her daughter and put them together like an amateur detective finishing off a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, this is a story about the mother only. It is a saga about her emotions during the initial days of her disappearance and her faltering relationship with her family. Not once does she acknowledge her children with affection. At one instance, she even wishes that her other daughter has disappeared instead of the first one. However, she is sorely disappointed when her now grown-up children settle elsewhere on the pretext of their jobs.

Very slowly, the mystery unfolds. The unraveling of the mystery is unbelievable and impossible. For a book written in 2017, fingerprint clues are not detected anywhere!

The only aspect that kept me going was the narration, the flow of the story and the way she portrayed the emotions of all the characters in this story. This book can conveniently go to my ‘Glad-it-was-Over’ list.

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Then She Was Gone - Lisa Jewell