Earlier this year, I read and absolutely loved I Found You by Lisa Jewell so I was so excited to be given the opportunity to read her latest novel – Then She Was Gone.
A MISSING GIRL
A BURIED SECRET
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?
If I were to sum this book up in one word, it would be… predictable. I knew from very early on what was going to happen and that really sucked the suspense out of the story for me. And I can’t attribute me predicting the way the plot would go to reading so many books in this genre, this plot was just super predictable, plain and simple. As soon as certain characters were introduced, you just knew how they’d factor in the story.
As I continued reading, I hoped something would surprise me but no curve ball came. Towards the end of this novel, I started skim reading certain paragraphs as I wanted to get to new revelations – there was one mini reveal that I didn’t predict but I felt it was so underwhelming because even though I didn’t predict it, it was still predictable [in the sense that it added nothing to the plot because it was an obvious action a certain character would have done after the main reveal].
I did really enjoy the beginning of this book, I was hooked and really interested, especially because of the narration style – I really liked hearing some of the narration from Ellie herself. In the beginning, I liked Laurel the most because Jewell portrayed her pain in a raw and real way. You do get to see how Ellie’s disappearance affected the family but again nothing jumped out at me and pulled me into the plot once my interest began to wane. Unfortunately, I have nothing else to offer on this one. Bar Ellie and Laurel, all the other characters came across as quite bland. There was no urgency, no tension or suspense – there was a certain part in the story where I felt the psychological thrills could have been capitalised on but it just didn’t manifest to the level I’d hoped.
It may seem I’m being harsh in this review, but I loved I Found You so much, as a reader, I just can’t believe how much I loved I Found You in comparison to this one, if you told me the books were written by a different author – I’d believe you. However, Jewell has a wealth of writing experience and I’m sure this book will be enjoyed by many and I will still read some of the novels on her backlist because I’m so interest to see if I enjoy them.
So, I end this review stating, this was not a case of, if you liked one, you’ll like the other – if you’re going to read one of Jewell’s book this year, make it I Found You.