Lisa Jewell | Then She Was Gone

then she was gone by lisa jewell

The Book: 

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell, 2018

The Characters: 

Laurel, her missing daughter Ellie, her new boyfriend Floyd, and Floyd’s daughter Poppy

The Summary (from Goodreads): 

THEN: 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.

NOW: 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?

Click here for book spoilers for Then She Was Gone
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Then She Was Gone, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist:

Ellie goes missing in high school. Ten years later, her mom Laurel starts dating Floyd and then finds out that his daughter Poppy looks shockingly similar to Ellie. Laurel finds out that her boyfriend’s ex was Ellie’s tutor, Noelle. From Noelle’s perspective, we find out that she kidnapped Ellie. Noelle drugs her to keep her docile. One day Ellie realizes she’s pregnant. Noelle is still married to Floyd in this flashback; she pretends to him that she is the one who is pregnant. Ellie dies of neglect after she gives birth to the baby. The baby is Poppy. 

The Ending: 

Floyd finds out Noelle is the one who kidnapped Ellie and murders her. He confesses to Laurel, tells her he got close to her so she could know Poppy, leaves Poppy with her, and kills himself. Laurel keeps Poppy. Years later someone finds a note from Ellie in a used book that she wrote while Noelle had her basically saying she loved and missed her family.

The Review: 

I absolutely love how Lisa Jewell writes thrillers. As the reader, you think you have it all figured out, and then she throws you a curveball. I couldn’t wait to find out what happened to Ellie, so I blew through this book. LJ’s writing pulls you in and makes you stay up all night to find out the ending! 

The story is narrated by different characters in both past and present, which makes the chapters move even faster. I cared about Laurel as a character, and was glad to see her get some closure in the end–although not in the way you would expect!

Read this if you liked…

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then she was gone by lisa jewell
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