Miss Me When I'M Gone: A Novel

Paperback | January 29, 2016

byEmily Arsenault

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“A very clever wordsmith.”
New York Times Book Review

“Ms. Arsenault…reveals strange truths beneath everyday surfaces.”
Wall Street Journal

Emily Arsenault’s first two novels, Broken Teaglass (“a beautifully written, engaging mystery” —Dorothy Allison) and In Search of the Rose Notes, received resounding critical acclaim. With her third, Miss Me When I’m Gone, she firmly re-establishes her standing among Laura Lippman, Tana French, Jennifer McMahon, Megan Abbot, and the other major players in the literary mystery game. Arsenault enthralls with this story of what ensues in the shocking aftermath of the sudden, violent death of the successful author of a “honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love,” when an old college friend of the murdered woman comes across an unpublished manuscript—one which could possibly lead to the writer’s killer. A former lexicographer, English teacher, children’s librarian, and Peace Corps volunteer, Emily Arsenault has found her true calling as an author of twisting, intelligent, emotional, and exceptionally compelling mystery fiction.

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From the Publisher

“A very clever wordsmith.” —New York Times Book Review“Ms. Arsenault…reveals strange truths beneath everyday surfaces.”—Wall Street JournalEmily Arsenault’s first two novels, Broken Teaglass (“a beautifully written, engaging mystery” —Dorothy Allison) and In Search of the Rose Notes, received resounding critical acclaim. With her third...

From the Jacket

Author Gretchen Waters made a name for herself with her bestseller Tammyland—a memoir about her divorce and her admiration for country music icons Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton that was praised as a "honky-tonk Eat, Pray, Love." But her writing career is cut abruptly short when she dies from a fall down a set of stone l...

Emily Arsenault is also the author ofThe Broken Teaglass,In Search of the Rose Notes, andMiss Me When I'm Gone. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.

other books by Emily Arsenault

What Strange Creatures: A Novel
What Strange Creatures: A Novel

Paperback|Jul 22 2014

$18.32 online$18.50list price
In Search Of The Rose Notes: A Novel
In Search Of The Rose Notes: A Novel

Paperback|May 7 2013

$4.99 online$16.99list price
The Broken Teaglass
The Broken Teaglass

Audio Book (CD)|May 3 2016


see all books by Emily Arsenault
Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.86 inPublished:January 29, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062103105

ISBN - 13:9780062103109

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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Liked the country singer hook 3.5/5 I read and enjoyed Emily Arsenault's previous book - In Search of the Rose Notes - last year. In her latest release, Miss Me When I'm Gone, Arsenault again utilizes journals, books and visiting the past to solve the present. Gretchen and Jamie were close friends in college, but their lives diverged as time passed. Jamie is married to Sam, expecting her first child and works as a part time editor. Gretchen is divorced, childless and a published author. Her first book was called Tammyland - a memoir of her travels after her divorce that specifically drew upon her love for female country singers such as Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn. She had started work and research on her second book - ostensibly about the flip side - male country singers and her continuing journey. But, after giving a reading at the library in her old home town, Gretchen is found dead at the bottom of a flight of stairs. Her death is ruled accidental. Her family asks old friend Jamie to act as her 'literary executor' and try to assemble the research of her second book for the publisher. As Jamie begins to read Gretchen's notebooks, she realizes that what she was really researching was her biological mother - killed when Jamie was only seven. The murderer was never caught. Was that fall accidental? Or is someone not happy with the past being revisited? Miss Me When I'm Gone is told in a three part narrative. In the beginning I did have to stop and get my bearings when starting a new chapter. The first stream is excerpts from Tammyland. The second narrative is through Gretchen's research notes on the second book. And it is these notes that send Jamie looking for answers as well. The third is from Jamie's present day viewpoint. I found the use of the country western singers, their songs and their lives to be an especially inventive, unique and a fascinating way to draw a portrait of Gretchen. Her writings in this book are quite introspective. Many of the stories told in this book had me heading the internet 'just to see.' (Loretta Lynn and Burt Reynolds did indeed have a fling.) The excerpts from Tammyland were actually my favourite part of the book. I am familiar with and enjoy this type of music, but those not enamoured of country western tunes may not appreciate it as much. The notebooks allow us to discover the clues and try to piece together the mystery along with Jamie. Jamie was a character I had a hard time nailing down. I appreciated her loyalty to her friend and her determination to find answers. What I couldn't understand was her seeming indifference to being pregnant. Although she is concerned with the baby's health, it is her relationship with her husband I found off putting. She blatantly ignores his concerns, her safety and the child's safety. I'm not sure why Arsenault made this character preganant - perhaps only to provide another difference between the way her life and Gretchen's lives evolved? Sadly, I didn't really ever warm up to Jamie and this influenced my final opinion of the book. Miss Me When I'm Gone is hard to classify. It has a mystery component, but it was the relationships that took center stage - which gave it more of a women's fiction bent. There's lots of material here that book clubs could sink their teeth into
Date published: 2012-08-01