By Deb Caletti
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780345534354, May 2013, 352pp.)
The Short of It:
Hands down, the most riveting book I’ve read this year.
The Rest of It:
I don’t know about you, but I love a good book about marriage. Especially if it’s about an imperfect marriage and let me tell you, this marriage is not perfect!
Dani Keller wakes one morning and realizes that her husband Ian is not in bed. It’s Sunday, and Dani’s slight hangover clouds her memory of the night before. As she goes about her normal, everyday activities it doesn’t really occur to her that something is wrong. Not until later in the day when her husband has not returned any of her calls. What she remembers of the party the night before is the small argument they had, but she can’t actually recall him coming through the door. Did he come home with her? Why can’t she remember? As it becomes more and more apparent that Ian is in fact, gone, the police begin to investigate the case, Dani’s family comes for support and Dani herself continues to rake her memory for clues to his whereabouts. What makes the story juicy, is their past and it ALL comes out as Dani wades through the delicate threads of matrimony.
This is a second marriage for both Dani and Ian and it’s clear that there is some emotional baggage that has not been completely unpacked and the reader learns this as Dani’s self-doubt begins to overwhelm her. We learn how their relationship came to be, about the children that Ian left behind, about Dani’s abusive ex-husband and although none of it is fairy tale material, it is fact what makes up a marriage today. Dani’s reflections on marriage in general are not surprising, but the aspect that Caletti focuses on is when a marriage loses its shine; that moment where the honeymoon ends and the marriage begins.
I knew what happened to Ian very early on, and although most will turn those last few pages, smack their head and shout, “I knew it!”, if you’re being honest, you’ll also admit that you really didn’t, because Caletti artfully guides you into more dangerous waters where ANYTHING could have happened and all of it would have been plausible. She’s sneaky that way.
Some have criticized the book saying that there is a lot of telling and not enough showing, but I felt it worked here. If a person goes missing, and you aren’t telling all of the story, at least not all at once, you are going to begin the dreaded internal dialogue with yourself over whether or not you did the right thing. This piecey introspection is what kept me reading. I freakin’ loved it!
The Seattle setting and the supporting characters that Caletti introduces add the necessary back story to make the situation plausible. From the very first page I was riveted and could not put it down. I blew through the first one hundred pages in one sitting and when I closed the book for good, I felt satisfied. You can’t ask for more than that.
Toss it in your bag this summer. You won’t be sorry. It’s that delicious mix of good pacing, flawed characters and doubt. Love it.
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours, I have a copy to giveaway! Details below.
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This giveaway is for one copy of He’s Gone and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person. Giveaway closes on June 16, 2013 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.
Filed under: Book Review | Tagged: © 2013 Book Chatter, Book Giveaway, Book Review, Book Tour, Deb Caletti, Fave Reads, Favorites, Fiction, He's Gone, Marriage, Mystery, Relationships, Suspense, TLC Book Tours | 24 Comments »