Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! My sister and I have started to read the same books together, which has been a lot of fun and we jokingly have been calling it our own book club of two. Today, we will be discussing our most recent finish called Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell – without giving any spoilers away, as always.
Kristen and I both agreed that this book was great but before we get started, I will be placing a trigger warning on it. This book deals with grief, miscarriages, as well as extremely disturbing content and is not for the faint of heart. Now, let’s get to it:
Ten years ago, fifteen year old Ellie Mack disappeared without a trace and her mother, Laurel, is still haunted by the tragedy. Divorced, estranged from her other children, and feeling the grief of her lost golden girl, Laurel has been simply existing as the years pass by. The pain of losing her child feels just as fresh as if it happened yesterday, every day for Laurel and she has accepted the fact that she will never be able to move on.
As Laurel goes through the motions of yet another day without her daughter, she has a chance encounter with a man named Floyd in a cafe. They have a pleasant chat over a slice of cake, which ends in an invitation from this handsome stranger to go out to dinner. No one is as shocked by this meeting as much as Laurel and after mulling it over, she accepts, which begins a whirlwind relationship.
As Floyd and Laurel get to know each other better, she eventually meets his two daughters. His adult daughter is named Sara-Jade who has a steely disposition and keeps to herself. Then, there’s his youngest girl, the effervescent Poppy. She is smart as a tack, self confident, and oh yeah – she looks just like Laurel’s missing daughter, Ellie.
Laurel chalks Poppy resembling her daughter so fiercely as a mere coincidence and continues her relationship with Floyd. However, with new information about Ellie after ten years and a strange connection between her daughter and Floyd’s ex-partner, Laurel begins seeing her daughter’s case with fresh eyes. What happened to Ellie? And does Laurel’s new boyfriend have anything to do with it? Read Then She Was Gone to find out!
I absolutely loved Then She Was Gone and finished it in just three sittings. It was unputdownable and I think that I could have read it all in one day if I didn’t have to work! Within the first one hundred or fifty so pages, I had the major twist completely figured out but that didn’t take away from the shocking nature of this read at all.
As I mentioned in the trigger warning for Then She Was Gone, there were some parts of this book that were extremely disturbing. Of course, I can’t delve into it without giving a lot of spoilers away but if you can look past it and are looking for a good thriller, I can’t recommend it enough. This was an incredibly fast paced book and I felt more and more invested at every turn of the page.
A majority of Then She Was Gone might feel like something you have read before. I also can’t tell you what books those are without spoiling it! However, the characters in this book are what made it so special. Laurel was a powerful main character and her grief was something you could literally feel as you read her story. Poppy was also an absolute delight with her dramatic personality and quirky fashion sense, which I could definitely relate to!
I am going to award Then She Was Gone with the coveted ten out of ten star rating. This was, easily, one of the best books that I have read recently and I would happily read more by Lisa Jewell again. From start to finish, this book was gripping, chilling, and one hundred percent excellent. If you’re up to it, I highly recommend it.
What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah