ARC Book Review | Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

then she was gone
 Then She Was Gone
Author: Lisa Jewell
Publish Date: April 17, 2018
# of Pages: 368
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Buy it*: Amazon


(From Goodreads) Ten years after her teenage daughter disappears, a woman crosses paths with a charming single father whose young child feels eerily familiar, in this evocative, suspenseful drama from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jewell—perfect for fans of Paula Hawkins and Liane Moriarty.

Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was fifteen, the youngest of three. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenaged golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic post-exams summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her.

And then she was gone.

Now, her mother Laurel Mack is trying to put her life back together. It’s been ten years since her daughter disappeared, seven years since her marriage ended, and only months since the last clue in Ellie’s case was unearthed. So when she meets an unexpectedly charming man in a café, no one is more surprised than Laurel at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she’s meeting Floyd’s daughters—and his youngest, Poppy, takes Laurel’s breath away.

Because looking at Poppy is like looking at Ellie. And now, the unanswered questions she’s tried so hard to put to rest begin to haunt Laurel anew. Where did Ellie go? Did she really run away from home, as the police have long suspected, or was there a more sinister reason for her disappearance? Who is Floyd, really? And why does his daughter remind Laurel so viscerally of her own missing girl?


Rating (1-5, 5 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 4
Pace – 4
Plot Development – 5
Ending – 4
Characters – 4
Enjoyability – 5
Ease of Reading – 5

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is a mystery about a missing girl, a broken family, and a mother who just wants answers about what happened to her daughter. When Ellie Mack went missing, she took part of her mother, Laurel Mack, with her. Unable to move past her daughter’s disappearance, Laurel is forever stewing over the events leading up to that fateful day.

This book was great! If you’re a fan of mysteries and thrillers, then this should be the next book you read. While it’s not so much of a “who done it” book, the motive unfolds slowly into a convoluted mass of “oh my gosh, is this really happening?” The writing was fantastic–smart, funny, intriguing and charming in the right measures.

Then She Was Gone was well-paced. It’s not a fast-paced thriller that has your pulse racing with every page–instead, the plot is unveiled in a delightful slow-burn. Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about the plot development. You’re constantly wondering if Ellie is still alive, what Floyd’s intentions are, and how Poppy fits into the equation. I liked second-guessing the straight-forward, rightfully assuming that not everything is as it seems.

The ending was brilliant and completely unexpected. I wasn’t even close to guessing how the book was going to end!

The characters were well-developed and thoughtfully constructed. My favorite character was Floyd. He’s so complex! On one hand, he seems like a totally nice guy. On the other hand, you can’t help but feel creepy vibes coming from him. I found myself feeling sorry for him towards the end of the book–I really enjoyed his character. The tutor is also an intriguing character. Her quirkiness comes through in her first introduction. Lastly, I adored Poppy. She’s delightful, and what a strange and interesting child she is!

Overall, this book was a wonderful read. This is the first book I’ve read by Lisa Jewell, but it won’t be the last!

While I also bought this book through my BOTM subscription, I also want to thank NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review. 



  • “‘What’s happy got to do with anything? Look, we’re here for absolutely no reason whatsoever. You do know that, don’t you? People try and make out there’s a greater purpose, a secret meaning, that it all means something. And it doesn’t. We’re a bunch of freaks. That’s all there is to it. A big bunch of stupid, inconsequential freaks. We don’t have to be happy. We don’t have to be normal. We don’t even have to be alive. Not if we don’t want to. We can do whatever we want as long as we don’t hurt anyone.'” 
  • “‘When I read a book it feels like real life and when I put the book down it’s like I go back into the dream.'”

Let’s Talk!

What’s the last thriller/mystery book you read? Have you read Then She Was Gone? If not, it is on your TBR?

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