The She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
I have a weird backstory with Then She Was Gone. For whatever reason, it was marked as “Read” on my Goodreads. I assumed it was one of those that I had read and just didn’t remember. Then, my mom got it and I read the blurb and realized I definitely had not read it. Boy, was I missing out.
She was fifteen, her mother’s golden girl. She had her whole life ahead of her. And then, in the blink of an eye, Ellie was gone.
It’s been ten years since Ellie disappeared, but Laurel has never given up hope of finding her daughter.
And then one day a charming and charismatic stranger called Floyd walks into a café and sweeps Laurel off her feet.
Before too long she’s staying the night at this house and being introduced to his nine year old daughter.
Poppy is precocious and pretty – and meeting her completely takes Laurel’s breath away.
Because Poppy is the spitting image of Ellie when she was that age. And now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
What happened to Ellie? Where did she go?
Who still has secrets to hide?
This is definitely not a book that you would forget reading. Someone on TikTok said the following to me. I did not listen to them, but I’m going to tell you the same thing anyway:
DO NOT FLIP TO THE END AND RUIN THE ENDING FOR YOURSELF.
I did that, and the book definitely had less of an impact on me. The ending will smack you in the face, so don’t flip to the end! I do it in almost every book I read, and I definitely should NOT have done it to this one.
One thing that I really appreciated about this book was that it was an older main character. So often, we read books with thirty-somethings, newlyweds, couples with young kids… This was a book with a main character in her 50s, navigating a later point in her life. It was refreshing to read.
There was a lot going on in Then She Was Gone, but it all came together “nicely” in the end. (It is NOT a nice ending by any means, but it was wrapped up in a pleasing way.) It also showed me that the volume of activity seems to be a standard characteristic of Jewell’s novels. I cannot wait to read more!
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