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Then she was gone
2018
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Author Notes
Lisa Jewell lives in London with her husband and their cat. <p> Lisa Jewell (born July 19, 1968) is a popular British author of women's fiction. Her books include Ralph's Party, Thirtynothing, After The Party, a sequel to Ralph's Party, and most recently The House We Grew Up In. <p> Jewell is one of the most popular authors writing in the UK today. In 2008, she was awarded the Melissa Nathan Award For Comedy Romance for her novel 31 Dream Street. Her titles often reach the bestseller list like, I Found You, in 2017 and Then She Was Gone, in 2018. <p> (Bowker Author Biography)
First Chapter or Excerpt
Then She Was Gone 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 postdivorce 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. Excerpted from Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.
Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Laurel Mack (Female), Divorced, Mother, Divorced mother of three; recovering from the loss of her teenage daughter, Ellie; trying to move on with her life
Floyd (Male), Father, Dating Laurel; has daughter who resembles Laurel's daughter, Ellie
Genre
Fiction
Domestic
Mystery
Suspense
Topics
Mothers and daughters
Missing children
Siblings
Ex-husbands
Friendship
Fathers and daughters
Mysteries
Search for truth
Time Period
2000s -- 21st century
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews

  Publishers Weekly Review

More than a whiff of The Lovely Bones wafts through this haunting domestic noir from bestseller Jewell (I Found You). The disappearance of beautiful, brainy 15-year-old Ellie Mack in May 2005 from her north London neighborhood takes a terrible toll on her parents and siblings, even a decade later. Most profoundly affected is her now-divorced mother, Laurel. After a shocking development in the cold case jolts Laurel from her lonely limbo, Laurel stuns herself by agreeing to dinner with a man she meets in a café, genial author Floyd Dunn, and quickly falls into a relationship with him and the younger of his daughters, precocious nine-year-old Poppy-who reminds Laurel eerily in so many ways of Ellie. But then unsettling coincidences start to emerge, most notably Laurel's discovery that Floyd's former partner, Noelle Donnelly, who he claims vanished five years earlier after dumping Poppy with him, was Ellie's math tutor. Skillfully told by several narrators (some of them ghostly), Jewell's gripping novel transcends its plot improbabilities to connect with an emotionally resonant story of loss, grief, and renewal. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
NEW YORK TIMES and #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER! <br> <br> "An acutely observed family drama with bone-chilling suspense." -- People <br> <br> "Jewell teases out her twisty plot at just the right pace, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. 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." -- Booklist , starred review <br> <br> "Sharply written with twists and turns, Jewell's latest will please fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train , or Luckiest Girl Alive ." -- Library Journal <br> <br> 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.<br> <br> And then she was gone.<br> <br> 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.<br> <br> 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?
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