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?
Heartbreaking, edge-of-your seat thriller. Lisa Jewell explores the dynamics of families perfectly and the narration by Helen Duff was totally on point!
“…losing a child ages you faster than a life spent chain-smoking on a beach. “
I’m nearly fifty-five,” she says. “And I look it.”
This is a brilliant story with multiple twists and turns that all come to a stunning conclusion, as we follow a decade-old mystery of a missing teenager.
One ordinary day, Ellie left home for the library to study for her upcoming exams. She was the favorite child, a golden girl with a boyfriend and a loving family. Her sudden, unsolved disappearance destroys her family; her parents’ marriage does not survive the guilt and heartbreak resulting from Ellie’s mysterious disappearance.
“Everyone had fought for Ellie’s attention, for a blast of her golden light. Then the light had gone and they’d dissipated like death stars falling away from the sun.”
Ten years later, Ellie’s mother Laurel has still not quite gotten over her grief. She is single now, her former husband having moved on and become involved with a lovely new girlfriend. Laurel is unable to really be there for her other children, and is merely existing day-to-day until she meets Floyd one day in a café. He is a writer and a single father and Laurel feels like she is finally connecting with another human being all these years after Ellie vanished.
Her relationship with the American writer blossoms and Laurel is stunned to meet Floyd’s brilliant young daughter, who strongly resembles Ellie. The daughter brings Laurel’s memories of Ellie flooding back. As the characters and the plot slowly begin to converge, I was shocked to finally learn what really happened to Ellie. Although I figured out part of the conclusion early on, I had no idea of the roller coaster of emotions that Lisa Jewell had in store for me.
I ADORE Lisa Jewell. She has a very deft touch with family relationships and with the fragility of the human psyche. A story about alienation, marriage, the mother-child bond and mental illness doesn’t sound enthralling but ‘Then She Was Gone’ was all of that and more.
The dialogue is brilliant and the conclusion is stunning. The audio book was completely mesmerizing and I highly recommend this smart and engrossing book to all lovers of the thriller genre.