Then She Was Gone was my first book by Lisa Jewell, and wow! I couldn’t believe how much I enjoyed it! I listened to this on audio and found myself looking for extra chores to keep me busy – always a sign of a great audiobook! I didn’t read the blurb prior to listening to this story, which created the unique experience of going into the story completely blind. I was glad for the shock value it added!
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?
I feel like I was slow on the uptake with this book because it took me a bit to catch the twist. As I was listening, I was so absorbed in the story, I wasn’t exactly trying to figure out where things were going. Finally, I took a moment to consider why Ellie had been kidnapped and my jaw literally dropped! I couldn’t believe the turn the plot was sure to take. The whole story felt intricately woven, detailed, and well thought out.
Helen Duff’s excellent narration added to the story, making it come to life like a movie in my mind. She did a fantastic job of adopting the vocal identity of each character. I really felt as if I was listening to multiple people speaking, and felt a certain level of distaste for the characters I didn’t like, just from the sound of her voice.
I was surprised how melancholy the story ended up being. I still find myself reflecting on the inventive, yet deeply depressing events that took place in this book. It somehow struck the soft place in my heart more than thrillers ever tend to do. I decided to bump my rating up to the full five stars since I can’t seem to get this book off my mind more than a week after finishing.
I’m even more eager to read The Family Upstairs as soon as I get the chance! I have a feeling Lisa Jewell is going to be one of my new favorite Thriller authors.
Rating: 5 stars