Book Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

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I read a Lisa Jewell novel last year and connected immediately with her writing style, tone, and voice. When Then She Was Gone showed up on NetGalley last month, I immediately requested it and added it to my reading queue for April. I really find myself enamored with Jewell’s characters, plots, and settings, so much that I’ve added ten of her other books to my TBR and hope to read a few more later this year.

then she was gone.jpg

Domestic drama is the best sub-genre to describe this book. A 15-year-old girl goes missing, resulting in her family falling apart. Ten years later, her mother finds new love (divorced her ex-husband though they still remain friends) and slowly learns of connections to her missing child who was feared dead. The description in the Goodreads or Amazon summary says it all, so I don’t need to add to it here. The book alternates between “Then” and “Now” to tell the story of what happened to Ellie, who kidnapped and hurt her, what the new love interest for Ellie’s mother, Laurel, has to say transpired over all the years, and where things really fell apart.

This book read itself. I intended to spend 90 minutes reading on a weekend afternoon to have a relaxing break from some outside chores. Three (3) hours later, I’d finished it. The book was so good that I lost track of time and read so quickly, everything just disappeared, but I was absolutely connected and attached to every part of the story and characters. Jewell clearly knows how to lead readers on a path where investment is deep and shock is wide. I’m sure a few readers will sideways glance at a couple of plot twists, and I can understand it. You have to suspend a tiny bit of your disbelief or questions as to how the kidnapping was truly pulled off. But it’s fiction and it’s part of a story and that’s why it worked — the writing supports it and carries you off into a world you cannot leave.

I normally figure out what’s really going on. But Jewell uses some clever disguises regarding timing that make it complicated, and when you do figure it out about 2/3 of the way thru, you have to stop for a few minutes and think about all the repercussions, Then, it all adds up. How did I miss it??? But for me, that’s what makes an incredibly gifted writer. One who transports you into the story that you forget to try to solve it because you’re just so stunned by its beauty. I can’t wait to pick up another Jewell book this summer. So many to choose from! But this one gets at least 4.5 stars.


About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.


30 thoughts on “Book Review: Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

    raynotbradbury said:
    April 16, 2018 at 8:49 AM

    agreed with your review, loved the book as well!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 16, 2018 at 8:58 AM

      Thanks. I might have to find another one of hers to read this month… kinda still in a good book daze.

      Liked by 2 people

        raynotbradbury said:
        April 16, 2018 at 9:01 AM

        I probably should too, but I have 6 books on my table to read…haha so maybe next month 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        James J. Cudney IV responded:
        April 16, 2018 at 9:02 AM

        it’s a curse, i know! I’ve got my books planned thru end of may. But I’m not choosing anything else until then so I have a break from ‘have to read’ instead of ‘want to read’ LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        raynotbradbury said:
        April 16, 2018 at 9:03 AM

        haha yeah, same here. But the thing when I go to the book store – I always buying something…so it never ends lol

        Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    April 16, 2018 at 9:08 AM

    Clearly attention catching and keeping. Happy Monday Jay.

    Liked by 2 people

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    April 16, 2018 at 9:25 AM

    Informative review, Jay. This one sounds like a keeper! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    Rae Longest said:
    April 16, 2018 at 9:36 AM

    Lovely review! This author is totally unknown to me; I will keep an eye (an ear?) our for her work. TY

    Liked by 2 people

    inspirationpie said:
    April 16, 2018 at 11:10 AM

    I’ve seen this one around a few times and I’m dying to get my hands on it! Looks awesome


    Liked by 2 people

    Fantastic review Jay! I’ve enjoyed her previous books and the only reason why I didn’t request this is because I’m already so behind with my reading and reviews. This is definitely going on the top,of my tbrs.😊

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 16, 2018 at 4:16 PM

      Thank you. I really think this is one to read… if you like domestic drama with a very interesting twist that might push your believeability limits, but still love it, then you must read!

      Liked by 1 person

    Ethan S. said:
    April 16, 2018 at 12:13 PM

    I’ve seen several positive reviews of this one now, and I really like the idea of being so sucked into a book that I finish it in one sitting!

    Liked by 2 people

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 16, 2018 at 4:16 PM

      If you like domestic drama and a bit of an offbeat plot, you will love it!


    Noriko said:
    April 16, 2018 at 7:40 PM

    Strong, fantastic, review, Jay! I’ll add this to my TBR 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Annika Perry said:
    April 17, 2018 at 5:05 AM

    Great review, James and it’s wonderful when a book pulls you in and time slips away until you’ve finished it. I’ve read some of her other books and will have to try this one too.

    Liked by 1 person

    BrizzleLass said:
    April 17, 2018 at 6:20 AM

    Lisa Jewell is a fantastic writer I used to love her chick lit and can imagine her easy style adapting well to different genres.

    Liked by 1 person

    carhicks said:
    April 17, 2018 at 8:14 AM

    This one is in my queue for this month, but you have inspired me to move it up. It will be next. Great review Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      April 17, 2018 at 8:16 AM

      It truly just had be from the beginning. It’s been a while since a book/author moved me that quickly (other than Ken Follett).

      Liked by 1 person

    Didi Oviatt - Author said:
    April 17, 2018 at 11:46 PM

    I’m convinced! Jumping over to Netgalley now! 🤗😍

    Liked by 1 person

    bookstalkerblog said:
    April 18, 2018 at 10:23 AM

    great review, it was a unique read!

    Liked by 1 person

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