Then She Was Gone

"I was very much intrigued by this novel.."


It's been ten years since Laurel's fifteen-year old daughter Ellie disappeared. Her golden girl, her reason for being – gone. There have been no leads, no answers to her questions, no ideas she can cling to for ten long years.

After years of passing through life Laurel meets charming and outgoing Floyd, who puts that sparkle back into her life. Before too long she is staying the night and introduced to his nine-year old, Poppy – a curious yet delightful child who Laurel can't take her eyes off of. Because Poppy is Ellie or at least her double, she's sure of it.

The questions of ten years past come flooding back, and the past that she has been trying to bury just won't stay behind her. It's time for her to get some answers, what happened to Ellie? Why does Poppy look so much like her? And what secrets is she missing?

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I was very much intrigued by this novel; there were several elements to it with questions of why and how these characters are connected, which I couldn't wait to find out. Jewell brilliantly splits this novel into several different points of view, from Laurel, Noelle, Floyd and Ellie with each character offering up their own take on events. There was always something more to find out from each of these characters, their motivations, motives and decisions. For most of this novel we, the reader, already know what's happened and we're waiting for the characters to catch up. What was insightful was when we reached the character involved we were able to understand their reasons why, and what pushed them to take these actions. Even if they weren't necessarily the right ones. Although there was an occasion when I made the assumption that I knew why or what the next move would be until I reached that character's point of view and they surprised me entirely. Relationships play a crucial part in this novel, your own knowledge, as well as the characters, belief in some of the characters relationships are tested. Much like the characters, what you think you know about another person and how close they think they are, you can never really tell. From their introduction into the novel you can sense that there is something not quite right about Poppy and Floyd, like Laurel who has spent years of trying to find her in people, you convince yourself there just can't be a connection at all. The ending for me was very eerie, for some it could appear as a sense of closure, but it is very much hidden behind what if's and a failed sense of hope.

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