Then She Was Gone: A Novel by Lisa JewellThen She Was Gone: A Novel by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone: A Novel

byLisa Jewell

Paperback | April 17, 2018

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“More than a whiff of The Lovely Bones wafts through this haunting domestic noir from bestseller Jewell…Skillfully told by several narrators (some of them ghostly), Jewell’s gripping novel is an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal.” —Publishers Weekly

Ten years after her teenage daughter goes missing, a woman connects with a charming single father, but she is still haunted by her child’s disappearance in this “deeply emotional and incredibly clever” (Mail Online) thriller from the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of I Found You.

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 was born and raised in north London, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of over fifteen novels, including Then She Was Gone, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. To find out more, visit Facebook.co...
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Title:Then She Was Gone: A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:368 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:April 17, 2018Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1501192833

ISBN - 13:9781501192838

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Reviews

Read from the Book

PROLOGUE  Those months, the months before she disappeared, were the best months. Really. Just the best. Every moment presented itself to her like a gift and said, Here I am, another perfect moment, just look at me, can you believe how lovely I am? Every morning was a flurry of mascara and butterflies, quickening pulse as she neared the school gates, blooming joy as her eyes found him. School was no longer a cage; it was the bustling, spotlit film set for her love story. Ellie Mack could not believe that Theo Goodman had wanted to go out with her. Theo Goodman was the best-looking boy in year eleven, bar none. He’d also been the best-looking boy in year ten, year nine, and year eight. Not year seven though. None of the boys in year seven were good-looking. They were all tiny, bug-eyed babies in huge shoes and oversized blazers. Theo Goodman had never had a girlfriend and everyone thought maybe he was gay. He was kind of pretty, for a boy, and very thin. And just, basically, really, really nice. Ellie had dreamed about being with him for years, whether he was gay or not. She would have been happy just to have been his friend. His young, pretty mum walked to school with him every day. She wore gym gear and had her hair in a ponytail and usually had a small white dog with her that Theo would pick up and kiss on the cheek before placing it gently back down on the pavement; then he would kiss his mum and saunter through the gates. He didn’t care who saw. He wasn’t embarrassed by the powder-puff dog or his mum. He was self-assured.  Then one day last year, just after the summer holiday, he had struck up a conversation with her. Just like that. During lunch, something to do with some homework assignment or other, and Ellie, who really knew nothing much about anything, knew immediately that he wasn’t gay and that he was talking to her because he liked her. It was totally obvious. And then, just like that, they were boyfriend and girlfriend. She’d thought it would be more complicated.  But one wrong move, one tiny kink in the time line, it was all over. Not just their love story, but all of it. Youth. Life. Ellie Mack. All gone. All gone forever. If she could rewind the timeline, untwist it and roll it back the other way like a ball of wool, she’d see the knots in the yarn, the warning signs. Looking at it backward it was obvious all along. But back then, when she knew nothing about anything, she had not seen it coming. She had walked straight into it with her eyes open. 1   Laurel let herself into her daughter’s flat. It was, even on this relatively bright day, dark and gloomy. The window at the front was overwhelmed by a terrible tangle of wisteria while the other side of the flat was completely overshadowed by the small woodland it backed onto. An impulse buy, that’s what it had been. Hanna had just got her first bonus and wanted to throw it at something solid before it evaporated. The people she’d bought the flat from had filled it with beautiful things but Hanna never had the time to shop for furnishings and the flat now looked like a sad post divorce downsizer. The fact that she didn’t mind her mum coming in when she was out and cleaning it was proof that the flat was no more than a glorified hotel room to her. Laurel swept, by force of habit, down Hanna’s dingy hallway and straight to the kitchen, where she took the cleaning kit from under the sink. It looked as though Hanna hadn’t been home the night before. There was no cereal bowl in the sink, no milk splashes on the work surface, no tube of mascara left half-open by the magnifying makeup mirror on the windowsill. A plume of ice went down Laurel’s spine. Hanna always came home. Hanna had nowhere else to go. She went to her handbag and pulled out her phone, dialed Hanna’s number with shaking fingers, and fumbled when the call went through to voicemail as it always did when Hanna was at work. The phone fell from her hands and toward the floor where it caught the side of her shoe and didn’t break. “Shit,” she hissed to herself, picking up the phone and staring at it blindly. “Shit.” She had no one to call, no one to ask: Have you seen Hanna? Do you know where she is? Her life simply didn’t work like that. There were no connections anywhere. Just little islands of life dotted here and there. It was possible, she thought, that Hanna had met a man, but unlikely. Hanna hadn’t had a boyfriend, not one, ever. Someone had once mooted the theory that Hanna felt too guilty to have a boyfriend because her little sister would never have one. The same theory could also be applied to her miserable flat and nonexistent social life. Laurel knew simultaneously that she was overreacting and also that she was not overreacting. When you are the parent of a child who walked out of the house one morning with a rucksack full of books to study at a library a fifteen-minute walk away and then never came home again, then there is no such thing as overreacting. The fact that she was standing in her adult daughter’s kitchen picturing her dead in a ditch because she hadn’t left a cereal bowl in the sink was perfectly sane and reasonable in the context of her own experience. She typed the name of Hanna’s company into a search engine and pressed the link to the phone number. The switchboard put her through to Hanna’s extension and Laurel held her breath. “Hanna Mack speaking.” There it was, her daughter’s voice, brusque and characterless. Laurel didn’t say anything, just touched the off button on her screen and put her phone back into her bag. She opened Hanna’s dishwasher and began unstacking it.

Editorial Reviews

“Then She Was Gone is a riveting thriller.” —PopSugar “Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. There will surely be comparisons to novels such as Emma Donoghue’s Room (2010) as well as all of the “Girl” thrillers, but Jewell’s latest really isn’t at all derivative. Her multilayered characters are sheer perfection, and even the most astute thriller reader won’t see where everything is going until the final threads are unknotted. Those few who do guess early won’t mind, as the pace and prose will keep them hooked.” —Booklist, starred review "Harrowing." —US Weekly “Jewell gets more riveting and twisty with every book she writes. Completely absorbing, fast-paced, well-written and with a shocking ending that will keep readers guessing, Then She Was Gone is a nearly pitch-perfect thriller. Fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins and Ruth Ware are sure to adore this haunting novel.” —Shelf Awareness “More than a whiff of The Lovely Bones wafts through this haunting domestic noir from bestseller Jewell. . . Skillfully told by several narrators, Jewell’s gripping novel is an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal.”  —Publishers Weekly "For thriller readers, Jewell's latest will not disappoint. Sharply written with twists and turns, it will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train, or Luckiest Girl Alive." —Library Journal “In addition to being a complex and genuinely suspenseful narrative, Then She Was Gone is a rich study of the ways in which people respond to grief and how past trauma can continue to shape their decision-making and relationships years or decades later. Readers will be truly affected by Ellie’s real story once it’s revealed—and they’ll be satisfied by the hopeful yet bittersweet ending. Jewell demonstrates once again that she has what it takes to genuinely shock, surprise and move her readers.” —Book Reporter "What begins as a story about the mother of a missing girl starting a new relationship as she comes terms with her grief morphs into a gripping, disturbing and utterly fascinating tale about what really happened to young Ellie Mack. I've been a Lisa Jewell fan for a long time and in this book, as in all her others, she deftly weaves a compelling plot with an emotional depth that leaves you gasping. In Then She Was Gone she has created a book that is dark and claustrophobic but also heartfelt and moving. Then She Was Gone packs a huge emotional punch that will leave you winded. I loved it." —C.L. Taylor, bestselling author "If you were the first of your friends to read Girl On The Train, and have read Gone Girl more times than you can remember, then here is your summer read. A thriller about a 15-year-old girl who has vanished and a mother who won’t give up hope. A perfect Pimm’s companion." —The Sun (UK)