I was told by my bookworm cousin that I would not be able to put this one down – he wasn’t exaggerating. Then She Was Gone had me turning the pages quicker than I could finish reading the words on them; I got to the end of page 368 before the night was through.
Jewell exploits every parent’s worst nightmare when she assembled this narrative; a young female teenager, depicted as her mom’s favorite child, leaves the house one morning and doesn’t return. Ellie is presumed to have run away by the police, but insufficient evidence of every theory presented leaves the mystery unsolved. It is like she vanished into thin air.
The book flips between the before and after, and alternates amongst different character’s perspectives. The author nails developing distinct personas and voices – I didn’t know whether to sympathize with the multiple narrators or distrust their every word. Jewell delivers a bursting and detailed storyline that doesn’t leave room for any unanswered questions.
Fast forward 10 years to when Ellie’s mom Laurel, who had continued to hold on to hope of finding her now-young-adult daughter, meets a new man and his young female child that bears an uncanny resemblance to Ellie. Suddenly the unanswered questions that haunted Laurel are brought back to the forefront. What really happened to Ellie?
Although I predicted the end of the book before I finished it and there were a few details that seemed implausible, that didn’t detract from the spine-chilling-ohmygod moment I had when all of the pieces came together.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy to consume read that is both thrilling and unnerving, this is the one you’ve been searching for.
Reviewed by: Christy (Contributor)
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