Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
on January 1st 1970
Buy on Amazon
Ellie Mack was 15 years old when she went missing. She was the youngest of three children who left the house one day to go to the library and never returned. Her Mother, Laurel Mack, fell apart after her daughter’s disappearance, as most parents would. Her daughter’s disappearance forever altered her life. Her marriage fell apart, her other daughter, Hanna became distant and withdrawn from her Mother,her son moved away. Throughout it all she never gave up hope on finding her daughter. Was Ellie a runaway as the police suggested? Was she kidnapped? Was there an accident? So many questions without answers can wear a person down, can leave a hole, and can prevent a person from fully moving on with one’s life.
Then ten years after her daughter’s disappearance, she goes into a bakery after getting her hair cut, and meets a man named Floyd. He compliments her hair and offers her a bite of his carrot cake. Laurel usually doesn’t take chances, but after the last clue in Ellie’s case was discovered, Laurel is ready to put her life back on track.
Soon Laurel and Floyd are a couple and she has met his two daughters. She is shocked to see that his youngest daughter, Poppy has a strong resemblance to her daughter, Ellie. As Laurel gets to know the entire family, she begins to learn about coincidences, there is a certain individual who ties both of their lives together.
I read this book in one day. I literally could not put this book down. Lisa Jewell has written a very good psychological thriller/mystery. I enjoyed all the characters even the bad ones. The bad ones were good characters in so much that they were creepy and sinister while at the same time being damaged. This book was a very well thought out and developed plot. The story moves at a very good pace. There were no dull moments. There were moments when I wanted to yell at Laurel “Ask more questions!” and “come on, put it together”. Is the book a little predictable? Yes, yes, it is a little predictable. I figured the “mystery” out but that did not spoil the book for me, as I kept turning the pages to see who else was going to figure the book out. The suspense builds as some questions get answered. Do you need to suspend some disbelief? Sure, a little…but that didn’t affect my enjoyment of this book at all.
Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I Found You by Lisa Jewell
Published by Atria Books on April 25th 2017
Buy on Amazon
There was something lacking in this book for me. I liked the book but did not love it. It was lacking in the WOW factor for me. Although I liked some of the characters I really didn’t feel for any of them. The mystery was okay but not great. I think the biggest problem with enjoying this book more for me was the fact that I have read some amazing mysteries this year which took me by surprise and blew me away and this book failed to do that.
One positive for this book is that I felt it was well written and I enjoyed how the Author moved from the present day to the past effortlessly in order to tell the two plot lines. There is a lot happening in this book: a young bride with a missing husband, a man with amnesia sitting alone on a beach and a single mother with a generous heart. The Author does tell all of their tales with ease but unfortunately she didn’t make me love any of them.
Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside of her home. When he hasn’t moved for hours and it begins to rain she brings him warmer clothing and offers him a place to stay. The man has no idea who he is or why he is sitting on the beach. He accepts her offer and stays in her back room and meets her children.
In London, Lily Monroe has reported her husband missing. They have recently married and it is out of character for him not to come home. Her worry turns to shock as she learns her husband was not who he said he was. Not knowing her husband’s true identity leaves her with more questions than answers.
Then the Author takes us to the past, to Kitty and Gary – teenage siblings – on their yearly trip to the quiet British seaside town. Their summer is pretty uneventful until they meet a mysterious young man who changes their lives.
Sounds great on paper but again, this just failed to grab me. I liked the book. I think this makes for a good plane or beach read. It did’t wow me but it wasn’t bad either.
The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell
Published by Atria Books on June 7th 2016
Buy on Amazon
Well, I am going to be in the minority here. I had heard a lot of good things about this book. I anxiously awaited my copy to be available at the library. I waited and waited and waited. Then finally it was ready.
Yay! I was so excited to start it. Then it began with a fizzle. It was slow as in sloooooooooow. I hung in there. I found that this book took some time, but eventually it became more interesting. It is a mystery whodunit. At the end I found it to be good – not great. I wanted to know what the hell really happened but was still left feeling like, like well, that this book could have been more. I think this is a book one either loves or just finds to be okay. For me although the story did pick up, it still did not grab me, not entirely. I waned to see where it ended and I had heard so much hype that I kept going.
For starters, we know from the first couple of pages that something terrible has happened.
Clare and her 2 daughters move into a new home that shares a communal “garden” with other families. Things seem fine at first as they always do, but then things turn out to not be as fine as they seem. There are cliques, family secrets, jealousy, relationships changing upon the arrival of the new family, and a 15 year old murder mystery of another teenage girl.
Good not great. For me the highlight was pip and her letters to her father