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?
Lisa Jewell pulled me in from the very beginning with this one. Then She Was Gone is a mystery/suspense that is broken into five parts. Each part we are introduced to a new point of view that drops little hints as to what really happened to Ellie Mack. Most of the story is told from Laurel Mack’s perspective. Laurel’s life has been at almost a stand still since her daughter, Ellie, went missing ten years ago. Laurel is such a well written character. She’s far from perfect and the thoughts that ran through her head at times, while horrible, were what made her feel realistic.
Jewell absolutely nailed the pacing of this story. She drops enough clues throughout the story to keep the reader engaged in the mystery. Her writing is addictive and draws you into this dark tale. There were some parts that I found very predictable. Yet, I didn’t see some of the details of the ending coming.
There were some issues I had with the story. There were some plot holes that I couldn’t really figure out. I felt that the relationship between siblings should have been explained a little further and maybe that would have clarified why certain events happened the way they did. I also felt that the ending wrapped up a little too quickly. We were just kind of told what happened versus being shown how things unfolded after the truth was revealed. Overall, I enjoyed this one! It was a good mystery that was packed with emotion. I’m looking forward to Jewell’s next novel.