Then She Was Gone

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2018

Member Reviews

Loved this book. Engaging writing from the offset and lots of twists and turns to keep you guessing. Well worth a read.
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15 year old Ellie Mack goes missing on her way home from the library .   No one has any clues where she has gone and the police are treating it as a missing person case . Most people apart from her mother feel that she has runaway .  Ellie’s mother Laurel just can’t get on with life and feels there is more to it than Ellie simply running away .  10 years after Ellie’s disappearance Laurel bumps into Floyd in a coffee shop and they embark on a relationship.   When Floyd introduces Laurel to his 9 year old daughter Poppy the resemblance to her missing daughter is uncanny .  Seeing Poppy dregs back up all the memories of Ellie and the still unanswered questions that haunt Laurel since Ellie disappeared.  What has happened to Ellie ?

When I finished this book I just said WOW !  I was dumbstruck by this story and has to sit in a quiet room for a while to get my thoughts together.   For me this was an absolutely superb psychological thriller.   Often a book can drag a bit in places but with this one it certainly didn’t happen .  A absolute must read for fans of psychological thrillers .   A massive 5 star read for me .
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Absolutely brilliant book! I'm a huge fan of Lisa Jewell's and have read all her books and I think she just gets better and better. This book was so well written and so sad in parts. I read it a while ago now and still think of it. Just brilliant!
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My heart has been battered, uplifted, and bashed about by this book. I can't deny that the plot feels over dramatic at the end, but my heart is doing the rating. And with every beat, it demands I click all the stars.
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Highly recommend Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell. Absolutely loved it, even though at times it had me sobbing and snivelling all over the place. Thought it was really well written and worthy of five stars
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A psychological thriller that builds the tension slowly, ‘Then She Was Gone’ takes you on a journey full of twists and turns that entices you to keep on reading long into the night. Laurel’s grief at the loss of her daughter, Ellie, is palpable and you feel every emotion right along with her. 

The differing character points of view throughout the book help to build up the tension, and you can’t help but find yourself caught up in the individual stories, even as you try to weave the threads of the story together to solve the mystery of what happened to Ellie.

Beautifully written as always by Lisa Jewell, with characters you quickly come to care about, ‘Then She Was Gone’ is a heartachingly brilliant psychological thriller. A 5 star read that I highly recommend.
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EXCERPT: She had no one to call, no one to ask 'Have you seen Hanna? Do you know where she is?' Her life simply didn't work like that. There were no connections anywhere. Just little islands of life dotted here and there. 

It was possible, she thought, that Hanna had met a man, but unlikely. Hannah hadn't had a boyfriend, not one, ever. Someone once mooted the theory that Hanna felt too guilty to have a boyfriend because her little sister would never have one. The same theory could also be applied to her miserable flat and her nonexistent social life. 

Laurel knew simultaneously that she was overreacting and also that she was not overreacting. When you are the parent of a child who walked out of the house one morning with a rucksack full of books to study at a library a fifteen minute walk away and then never came home again, then there is no such thing as overreacting. The fact that she was standing in her adult daughter’s kitchen picturing her dead in a ditch because she hadn't left a cereal bowl in the sink was perfectly sane and reasonable in the context of her own experience. 

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?

MY THOUGHTS: I loved this book. I love Lisa Jewell's writing. I love her characters. I wanted, so badly, to know what happened, but I wanted the book never to end. I think I am addicted. I have started another of this author's books straight away. And I seldom, if ever, do that. 

The characters are very ordinary people. They are not rich, nor particularly successful. They don't marry millionaires and live happily ever after. They are ordinary people with ordinary worries who have ordinary awful things happen, and who react like I imagine that I, or any of my friends, would react should a child of mine go missing. And in this very 'ordinaryness' Jewell creates compelling characters that we come to love and empathise with, and addictive reads. 

A jewel. A treasure. And even though I had an inkling about where this was going, it didn't diminish my pleasure in this read at all.

Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone Arrow for providing a digital ARC of Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions. 

Please refer to my profile page or the 'about' page on for an explanation of my rating system. 

This review and others are also published on my blog
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I was quite surprised by this book. I kind of expected it to be all about Ellie, the search for her and the link between her and Poppy. However it's more about relationships of those left behind plus how newcomer Poppy fits into that. I loved how the story of Ellie unfolded and was woven into the narrative. 

There's several voices within the book as the story is told from about 4 different points of view. I like this kind of thing, for me it adds extra layers to my reading. 

Parts of the story are a little bizarre (Jewell says this herself in the Acknowledgements), but it does work. Again it's something I like. Throw in the maddest thing you can think of but as long as it can be woven into the story and all the loose ends are tied up and I don't care. I just like to be entertained and I was.

It's a really fast read and I was sucked in right from the start. Thoroughly enjoyable and I'd definitely recommend it

Free arc from netgalley
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Different in the best possible way. Highly original plot with some great characters, especially Laurel. Emotionally charged, beautifuly written and altogether spellbinding
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Lisa Jewell is probably my favourite author at the moment. She hasn’t written anything I haven’t been addicted to, thrilled by or desperate to reach the killer ending. I really enjoyed this one. Highly recommend!
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I found these characters appealing and sad, very sad. Through the disappearance of Ellie the other relationships suffer, divorce then a distance between the other children. 
Which is sad but I could see why it could happen. The not knowing and waiting, just waiting.
The story unfolds really well and the author has tackled it all really well. 
A good read
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I am split regarding this book.  On one side is the story.  I enjoyed the story, some predictable parts, some surprising twists.  Overall, the story was really good and gripping. On the other side is the author. I’m very on the fence with Lisa Jewell.  I am a big fan of her chick lit books but I have not really got on well with any of her thriller books.  However saying that this is definitely my favourite of hers for a long time.
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A very rare thing occured with this book, I read it twice. I read a lot, and often forget the plot ( as well as losing it :)). I found it on my kindle, for some reason it didn't show I had read it , and I recognised it from the first chapter but couldn't recall how it ended, I started reading a bit to jog my memory,and although I remembered the ending, I couldn't recall all the bits of the story and ended up reading the whole thing. I think that shows how good it was. A really unusual plot, great characters, all flawed but all very human and relatable. The way the truth started unfolding was clever, you could see the links, but not how they were going to fit, so when it was all revealed, it was happily as good an outcome as there could have been, Well written and easy to lose yourself entirely, a great novel.
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A brilliant twisty, keep you guessing book. One of those you have to lose sleep over ‘cos you NEED to know what’s going on! Yes I sussed a little of it out but this didn’t spoil my enjoyment. I've not read any of Lisa's books before but I will deffo read more. For the people who don't like 'unrealistic, far fetched' plots. I suggest you stick to nonfiction books & documentaries on telly :)). Highly recommended.
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then she was gone by lisa Jewell.
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. Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet. But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter. Because his daughter is the image of Ellie. Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.
wow. this was a fantastic read. couldn't put it down.  loved the story and the characters.  I love lisa last book I read i Found you. Will definitely be reading more from her. 5*.
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Ellie Mack went missing at the age of 15, There didn't appear to be any explanation for her disappearance and eventually it was decided that she had simply run away.  Skip forward 10 years and Eillie's mother Laurel meets a mysterious stranger who she starts to fall in love with. Is Floyd really all he appears to be? Floyd has a 9 year old daughter, Poppy, who is the spitting image of Ellie. How is this possible. What is the story?
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I love Lisa jewel books, and although I enjoyed 'then she was gone', I didn't find it as good as her previous books....there were some hard to believe things happening and I didn't understand why we had to have that ending with Floyd
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Amazing. This book twists and turns and gives you clues but then switches again. I really wasn’t sure as I thought it was by a chick lit author. Not at all. The characters are very believable and the main character is someone you’ll root for and empathise with. Go and buy this!
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Last time I reviewed a Lisa Jewell book (I Found You) I thought it was a masterpiece and wrote that she was at the top of her game. Well, what can I say now that she has written an even better book? I tell you, this woman is a genius.

Then She Was Gone will break your heart in about ten places. Its observations are so acute it’s as if Jewell can look into people’s minds. Laurel’s life before she lost her daughter was an ordinary cycle of worry and waiting and Jewell describes that with suchabsolute accuracy that I found myself nodding.

I’m not giving anything away here that’s no in the blurb. Laurel’s daughter Ellie goes missing aged fifteen, and that’s the main plot point. The hook of the story is so irresistible that you will be tempted to devour this book in one gulp. Several years after her daughter’s death she meets her boyfriend’s daughter who is so like Ellie that its stops Laurel in her tracks. Therein lies an intriguing story told in tantalising pieces that the readers fits together like an addictive jigsaw.

The book is harrowing in places, but the story is vividly told and not without shafts of light. It is one of the best books I have ever read and just one of the many reasons why Lisa Jewell is my favourite author. Possibly ever.
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My first 5 star review of the year, and boy oh boy, did this book deserve it!

Then She Was Gone is told mainly from Laurel's point of view, the mother of missing Ellie, who disappeared at the tender age of fifteen. However, we also get glimpses into Ellie's character as some of the chapters are told from her point of view. We hear from Ellie before she disappears, and then again later in the story. I loved the alternating points of view, and the move between first and third person narration. 

This read really got under my skin, and some of the chapters creeped me out. I felt for Ellie's family after her disappearance, especially for her mother who fell apart, and then who, years later, manages to find some form of happiness with a new man. But really, the chapters that disturbed me the most, were those about Ellie's disappearance and her capture...let's talk about an eerie basement, a tiny window, a solid door with three bolts, and hamsters, lots of hamsters...

I found this book to be totally gripping, and even though I've been in a bit of a reading slump for the last couple of months, I couldn't wait to get home every day to read. I definitely didn't feel my slump while turning the pages of this book! And this is why I awarded 5 stars - it was just pure, enthralling, entertainment...and that's exactly what I want from my reads.

In summary, I'm not the type of person that enjoys long winded, highly descriptive prose, award winning books that may be extremely well written but which tend to be a tad monotonous and let's be frank...boring. No Sir, not me! Give me a fast paced, rollicking roller coaster of a read and I'll be happy. This one ticks all those boxes! Loved it.
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