Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Book review: And Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Fall Reading List: And Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell is a tearful and terrifying tale 

Fall Reading List: And Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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I rarely cry read a book that makes me cry, despite being someone who reads books almost exclusively about murder. I teared up a few times when I was reading And Then She Was Gone. As I read the Epilogue I started bawling, squinting at the last words on the page through watered-down eyes. As difficult as it is to conclusively determine this, I think I can confidently say this is my favourite Lisa Jewell book I've read. 


Ellie Mack's disappearance haunts her mother Laurel Mack, so much so that chasing the ghost of her favourite daughter has cost Laurel her family, her life, and herself. Ellie walked out the front door one day, bursting with life and light, planning her next meal, on her way to the library to work on her studies. And then she was gone. 


The protagonist's most relatable quality is her self-scrutiny. Loss and uncertainty force us to view our insecurities under a magnifying glass, examining them like the pores of our skin,  that always look bigger and deeper when magnified. While we can't all relate to the loss of a child, we can relate to judging ourselves harshly- even while we are suffering. 


It's impossible not to become invested in each character's tragic story and individual suffering. From the most golden and perfectly innocent to the vilest and most detestable, each character draws empathy and relatebility out of the reader. The author described this book as bizarre, but perhaps the most bizarre part of the story is how 'human' she can write a villain. That's what made the villain in this book absolutely terrifying. It was bizarre but believable. 


Small predictabilities are easily forgiven when you realize the author wants you to know- because the unknown remains a mystery until the final part, the final chapter, the final page. The final page. You will not get the ending you wanted from this book, the glimmer of light for the golden girl. But you'll get the ending you needed. 


I give And Then She Was Gone 5 Jack-o'-Lanterns!


Check out the books on my Fall Reading List!


Book review: And Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell Fall Reading List


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