A couple of months ago I read The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James and I remember thinking to myself it was going to be hard for another book to be as good as that one was. I am here now to let you all know that as of right now, Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell is my favorite book I’ve read this year so far.
The book follows mother Laurel Mack 10 years after her youngest daughter, Ellie, disappears and is never seen again. We find Laurel trying to find it in herself to move her life forward rather than keep it in a standstill the way its been since Ellie went missing while also attempting to repair her relationship with her two other children. Along the journey of this moving on Laurel starts to uncover information regarding details of Ellie’s disappearance ultimately leading to the “big” reveal at the end.
It has been about a week since I finished reading this book and at least once a day I think about that heartbreaking ending. Make no mistake, the outcome of the story is not surprising. Not even one bit. It is incredibly easy to figure out what happens and nothing that is revealed throughout the story is shocking. And yet! This book is mesmerizing despite it. There’s still this feeling of foreboding throughout the book and the emotions you feel towards these characters definitely drives you to keep reading. I could not put this book down and stayed up until almost 4am to finish it. The last page of the story contained in this book is absolutely heart wrenching and I’ve never had a book have me sob in the way this one did.
The writing style itself was my favorite thing about the book. The changing POV’s throughout it and the tone in which it was written in really elevated the experience for me. Due to the fact that it was not difficult to figure out what happened, the writing is what makes this book a success. I would not have kept reading this book because of the lack of mystery and how easy it was to figure it all out and probably would have skipped to the ending if the writing hadn’t drawn me in and made me genuinely care for these characters.
I give this book 5 stars and definitely recommend it to anyone who likes a bit of mystery. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go look up other books by Lisa Jewell.