The day before I started Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewel, I had a dream that I purposely watched the movie first in order to know the ending ahead of time. There is no movie adaptation of this book (as of yet) so that made zero sense to me. I must have somehow known that it was going to be a twisted mystery I would be extra eager to get to the bottom of and that, at least, I was right about!
Ellie Mack disappeared ten years ago when she was fifteen years old. Her mother, Laurel, has been grieving ever since. With no answers as to what happened to Ellie, she has lacked closure for years. Flash forward to the present day where police have discovered evidence said to be connected to Ellie. Finally Laurel and her family, including her ex-husband Paul and two other children, are able to more or less move on.
Soon after, Laurel meets and falls for a handsome guy named Floyd Dunn. He appears to be perfect but his young daughter, Poppy, bears such a striking resemblance to Laurel’s daughter Ellie, that it is downright shocking. Something about both Floyd and Poppy is unsettling to Laurel, but she can’t quite put her finger on what or why.
The more Laurel learns about the both of them, the more questions she has. She thought that she would finally be able to put Ellie’s death behind her but soon Laurel cannot ignore what is right in front of her, and vows to find out what happened once and for all.
This is going to be a spoiler-free review. I was very into this book for the first two hundred pages. I think the reason was that the chapters were so short (all under about 10 pages or so) and ended on little cliffhangers that prompted me to keep reading. The build up to what happened to Ellie was so strong that I actually had to keep myself from looking ahead to see what would happen.
I’m going to be honest and admit that the ending really fell flat for me and was a complete disappointment. It was so unoriginal and unsatisfying. What a bummer. I don’t read a lot of “missing children thrillers” but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that there are some that are better than this
Perhaps this just wasn’t Lisa Jewell’s best? I have one of her newer books (Watching You) on my TBR for later this year, but the way Then She Was Gone played out has me questioning if I want to read it or not. At this moment, I think it is unlikely that I will read anymore of her work but that could change in time.