Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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Category: Thrillers
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: The sort of story you don't mind giving up your weekend for, this is a brilliant read with all sorts of loose ends to tie up as you follow a decades long mystery of a teen girl gone missing.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 432 Date: July 2017
Publisher: Century
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1780896410

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One day Ellie went to the library for some last minute GCSE study and she never returned. There are a lot of what ifs?: what if her sister hadn't had a noisy friend over, forcing her to seek out somewhere quieter to study? What if there had been more CCTV on the high street so her journey could have been traced? What if, taking it back a bit, she had never met Theo, never fallen for him, never drifted into competition against him and never felt the need for extra swotting? What if, what if, what if? And what if actually, none of this had made a difference, because what happened was always going to happen, one way or another?

Ten years later, her mother Laurel is still grieving, her husband long gone and her other children wary of the woman she has become, never able to gain closure from that day when she went from a mother of three teens to a mother of two in the blink of an eye. She now has a life of existing rather than living, bits of work here and there, just a few loyal friends and definitely no special person in her life, until the day Floyd sits down at the table next to her in the café. A single father of some prominence, he seems to have everything she has lost – a nice home, stable job and a daughter who reminds her of Ellie when she was a little girl, years before she disappeared. And while his presence has a positive effect on Laurel, it also brings back a lot of memories from the past, leading to a renewed search for the truth of what happened.

It's a special kind of book that steals your weekend, cocooning you from the outside world for 400+ pages, and it's a special kind of book where you can have weddings and funerals and death and destruction, and yet it's a simple letter that sends you over the edge and leaves you a sniffling, snotty mess. This book was simply perfect – easy to fall into, hard to escape, and with so much to figure out you barely wanted to leave anyway. This is Laurel's story as much as Ellie's. Maybe the other family members didn't care as much, or maybe that's just what Laurel will have you believe, but she is the one working through it, fitting clues together like jigsaw pieces, turning them over in her hand when she can't see exactly where they go just yet.

I was a little late to the Lisa Jewell party – she's written more than a dozen bestsellers now – but when I finally discovered her I knew I was on to something good. Her books just click with me somehow, and each new release is a pleasure. This is a great holiday read, much like I Found You but you'll plough through it so quickly so don't count on it to last you a full 7 days poolside.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review.

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