Tag Archives: Lisa Jewell

Review: Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 9781501154652, November 2018, 384pp.

The Short of It:

One minute Ellie is there, the next minute she is gone and the wake of her disappearance leaves a family changed forever.

The Rest of It:

The Mack family, fairly happy and close knit as far as families go is forced to learn how to live without their oldest daughter. Ellie, the golden girl. The perfect daughter whose light and personality resonates with just about everyone she meets, doesn’t come home from school one day and her parents and family are left to pick up the pieces.

Laurel, can’t quite put her finger on why she thinks Ellie is still alive but as the years go by and nothing new is discovered, the case goes cold. As a mother, can you really let go without any real closure?

The Mack family is affected by Ellie’s disappearance in many ways. A sister, who lives a very secret life and can’t find ways to be close to Laurel like Ellie was. An ex-husband who was a good man, but had to move on with his life. A son who distances himself from the family as soon as he’s able, and then Laurel, who tries desperately to hang on to hope, but quickly realizes that it’s okay for her to find happiness too.

Until a new development is discovered in the case.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fast read but I felt for these characters. The author did a really good job of presenting all the conflicts and keeping the story fresh. I felt Laurel’s pain over her daughter’s disappearance but I also felt her need for happiness. The story came together in a good way too. Not too predictable or over the top.

I’ve read one other Jewell book and I know she has many others. I am happy to have found an author I can keep reading for awhile.

Source: Purchased
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 9781501190100, November 2019, 352pp.

The Short of It:

As the title suggests, this is a book about a family but the type of family and the secrets they hold, slowly unfold into a story that I could not easily predict, which is a good thing!

The Rest of It:

The Family Upstairs is told from alternating points of view and jumps back and forth between the present day and the events of the past. Normally, this type of book frustrates me but here, I found it to work quite well.

One thread has Lucy on the street with her two young children. What happened to her? Why are they homeless? Another, involves Libby, a young woman who was adopted as a baby. She’s just been informed that she’s come into quite a large inheritance which makes her extremely curious about her past. In the last thread, we are introduced to the “family upstairs” and the sinister things going on that are revealed in pieces, bit by bit. ALL OF IT is related.

The Family Upstairs was THE book everyone was reading over Thanksgiving break and for once, I joined in. It took a little bit of time for me to get into the flow of it. All the time jumping slowed me down until about half-way through, when I began to turn the pages faster because it was all coming together in a way that piqued my interest.

I’ve read one other Jewell book, The Girls in the Garden and that was also very good. I remember adding all her books to my Kindle after reading that one, and I was not wrong to do so. I really like her style of writing. There’s a pulse to her work, a bit of tension that I enjoy but it’s not predictable or silly. I am loving these types of reads these days.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.