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Then She Was Gone

A Novel
Written by: Lisa Jewell
Narrated by: Helen Duff
Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (748 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenage golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. 

Now her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together. It's been 10 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 cafe, she is surprised at how quickly their flirtation develops into something deeper. Before she knows it, she's meeting Floyd's daughters - and his youngest, Poppy, takes her breath away. Looking at her is like looking at Ellie. And now the unanswered questions she has tried so hard to put to rest haunt her anew...as well as some new ones about Floyd and Poppy....

©2018 Lisa Jewell (P)2018 Dreamscape Media, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Twisted and addicting

This story is great! Just when you think you have it all figured out you find out you don’t. You can’t stop listening as it twists and turns over and over BUT the voices of the oldest daughter, SJ and the grandmother are so epically awful it’s almost painful. You really have to focus hard to look past it and still love those characters. The grandmother especially! However, I would suggest this book to anyone who loves to sit on the edge of their seat!!

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Good story. Not my favourite performance.

Very compelling story. You are drawn into the mystery and can relate to Laurel Mack. Definitely worth the listen. The performance wasn't my favourite. The narrator changes voice very often to differentiate the character perspectives. This wasn't for me and came off as annoying.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Interesting but narration was terrible.

The story dragged along at first, but picked up towards the end. I almost didn't listen to the entire book because the narration was ridiculous and excruciating to endure. Suggest reading yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Annoying Narrator Voice, but Great Story

This has been one of my favorite books I've listed to this year. Wonderfully written, with strong character development, and a captivating, morbidly exciting plot. It's a must read, and a must listen if you can get past the narrator performance, which drove me insane. Her voice was SO annoying. The strong British accent paired with the most annoying rendition of voices she had for each character made it painful to listen to. Especially her voice of Noel, Ruby, and Hannah.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Enjoyed this story!

Yes some of the voices for the characters where annoying but the story is well written with lots of never seeing ahead twist to enjoy! worth the credit!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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only read it during jogs...went jogging more often

This was my first audiobook& I'll be looking for more like this one! enjoyed the different POV in the narrative, development of characters and pace of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great Book!

I really enjoyed this book. It was very well written and kept my interest throughout. The narrator was excellent as well.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great story

Enjoyed the little twists and turns that it took. Felt sad and outraged and scared and furious, and finally some happiness and closure. Great book!

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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent performance, pretty good story

I notice that the most common complaint in Audible book reviews has to do with the narrator performance rather than the story. I personally almost refrained from buying this book due to some of these comments. However, Helen Duff's storytelling style has been my favourite of any book I've listened to on Audible so far. I found the differences between characters' voices obvious but not glaring, and her voice in general is soothing and believable rather than overly dramatic or unnatural. Enjoyment of the narration seems to be a very personal and subjective experience, so I highly suggest listening to the sample before buying and deciding based on that.

As for the story itself: I found the novel to be an easy listen, something I didn't have to intensely concentrate on but which was compelling enough to keep me engaged even while I was doing something else. Certain parts of the story were predictable and were foreshadowed quite obviously, but some things did still surprise me. I might have found the events of the story somewhat unbelievable, if I had not been reading and listening to a lot of true crime lately. There are definitely parts of the book which are quite disturbing. While an "easy" read I would definitely not consider it a "light" read.

I did feel that the very ending of the book was a little rushed. It was a very slow build to the "reveal" of what happened, followed by a too-quick wrapping up post-climax. I would have liked just a little more exploration into the feelings and lives of the characters post "reveal". I find the "one year later" type endings a little cliché. What I liked most about the book was the fleshing out of the main character, Laurel. She was very complex and believable. I expected to get a more thorough exploration of her inner world in the ending of the book and in reaction to the culmination of the events of the book. There are many things that Laurel is and tries to be. Mother - mother of a missing or murdered child, mother of a teenager, mother of an adult woman, daughter to her own ailing mother. Wife - to her husband, to a man she hates, ex wife, ex wife of a man she loves, girlfriend to a new man. She contemplates her roles and what they mean and feels differently about them at different times. She contemplates her age. Her character arc is focused on her relationships with others, each of which changes greatly over the course of the book.

Overall I would definitely give this book a listen. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves mystery, crime, drama, and books about complex family life.

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excellent story with a complete unexpected twist

although I did figure out early the direction story was going to go the lead up to it in the development was well done. Very well-read and a great storyline you have three new text messages

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  • Jessica Jones
  • 2018-05-26

Not a bad read

I found that I predicted the ending to this book fairly early on but really did enjoy the book. The narrator is excellent. It’s a somber thriller that I think most will find a good read ( or “listen”).

44 of 45 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-05-24

SO GOOD

I couldn't get enough of this book. I drove around on my lunch hour, wasting gas, just to listen. I finished it in a week and it usually takes me a month to get through a book because I only listen while commuting. If you're a fan of suspense/thrillers, you will enjoy this book.

544 of 568 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-04-21

Love all Lisa Jewell's books.

As always her characters, plots and family dynamics are compelling. This one was a little darker than some of her books, and the main characters a little less quirky but still a book I couldn't put down. I wish I could get all of her books, don't quite understand the publishing rules that keep Audible from being able to offer all of her books. The narrator was excellent as always. I find a good narrator is crucial and this narrator is terrific. Highly recommend!

469 of 491 people found this review helpful

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  • Stacy
  • 2018-05-19

WOW, great book

I just finished listening to this book, and I am sad for it to be over. I found it to be very captivating. Yes, there is some dark content, but that's what psychological thrillers usually are, right?
I loved the narrator, and I got caught up in the story right away feeling like I was actually there with the family.
It was an emotional book with a satisfying ending. I hate when they end with a big question.
I don't want to leave any spoilers, but this book had great characters to hate, as well as to relate to. I loved how the book really went into detail with the characters feelings and emotional states.
5 stars from me.

121 of 127 people found this review helpful

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  • Nancy Lerandeau
  • Idaho
  • 2018-05-13

A non stop listen

I loved the narrator. She made the story, already so poignant, even more stunning. Great, right to the end.

68 of 72 people found this review helpful

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  • Laura
  • 2018-06-10

Yes. Well. Well. ... Well. Yes.

I loved the story, it was creepy to the core from the beginning and I liked it in general. My only complaint is the awkward conversation. I don't know how much of this was the author's fault vs. the narrator, but it was bizarre to hear, "Well. Well. Well. Yes. Well." all the time. It didn't sound natural. Regardless, good read!

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila S
  • Chicago, IL
  • 2018-05-20

Truly a page-turner

The novel initially involves a middle aged woman who seems to be overcoming her depression after meeting and becoming involved with a nice, compatible man. Good reading, but not exactly a mystery/thriller. Then comes a revelation/warning so ominous and creepy that I didn't want to stop listening--even at 1:00 AM. The conclusion did not quite meet my expectations of menace, but the story certainly kept me involved.

95 of 102 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mel
  • 2018-07-20

Bleak, dark, but done exceptionally well

If you've got the heart for it...this is a great read, just very sad and dark. Even the silver lining is a bit bittersweet and tarnished by the immensity of what is lost in the years. This is the first book I've read by Lisa Jewell and I was impressed by the very good writing and sophisticated set up of the story. The delivery, in the beginning, was achingly slow, but I realized as the pace picked up later that that beginning with the barely perceptible ticks here and there was the author's stratagem -- like a comfortable drift downstream until the first rapid upends your tranquil ride and submerges you in a truly horrible world of tumult and heartbreak. It's hard to throw an avid reader off track, but I have to give Jewell props for keeping me guessing.

I used to read some by the author K. Slaughter, until I had professionals in my field point out the dangerously gratuitous violence against women in that author's books. Whatever floats your boats -- (I won't go into details, but we worked with incarcerated sex offenders and were unanimously concerned with a particular book of KS. We all chose to quit reading KS.) While not the same subject AT ALL so gruesomely detailed in KS works, I couldn't help but compare the author's choices. Jewell was able to write about a sad and frightening situation involving a crime against a child and capture the horrors without the flagrant description, instead relying on her talent for writing and her trust in the reader to fill the details, instead of gore and salacious details. Well paced unfolding of a haunting thriller.

136 of 148 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2018-05-24

Wow!

The story seemed slow to begin but boy it took some twists and turns! Thoroughly enjoyed this story even though it was dark material!

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Danielle Curtorillo
  • 2018-04-20

Good read!

This is one of the better books I have read in awhile! Kept me guessing as to what would be revealed next!

59 of 65 people found this review helpful