I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Then She Was Gone’ by Lisa Jewell. The premise of the story is a well-used one, as both male and female readers alike could not help but empathise with Laurel’s pain at one of a parent’s biggest nightmares becoming a reality; fifteen year old Ellie Mack leaves her house one day, and disappears. Her mother’s grief is real, raw and deeply felt. Laurel’s other relationships suffer, her marriage ending in divorce and her other two children paling into insignificance beside the all-encompassing grief of her loss.
The story is told from several points of view, including that of the lost child, Ellie, and Lisa Jewell maintains a feeling of unease throughout the telling of it. The characters are well-developed, and probably the most notable is that of Noelle, Ellie’s home tutor, intelligent, sinister and manipulative.
I have read some reviews that say that the book is predictable; I beg to differ, as to suggest that a book is predictable suggests that the author was trying to ‘hide’ a secret until the very end when the conclusion would be a shocking surprise. I don’t think this is the case with ‘Then She Was Gone.’ There doesn’t have to be a big reveal to make a book thrilling; it is my thought that Lisa Jewell left a smattering of clues throughout the book for the reader to follow, and it is her talent as a writer that maintains the sinister atmosphere throughout, as the story GRADUALLY unfolds and the mystery of what happened to Ellie Mack comes to be GRADUALLY revealed.
This for me was a five star read!