Then She Was Gone is a New York Times Bestseller by Lisa Jewell. This book is a complex, riveting, and mysterious family drama that follows the lives of the people who are dealing with the aftermath of a young girl’s disappearance.
The girl who went missing, Ellie Mack was considered an angel, the perfect daughter, beloved by all who met her. She had her whole life ahead of her…before she went missing.
Now, her family is left trying to put the pieces back together, along with their lives back together.
Over 10 years have passed since Ellie went missing. The case has gone cold, and there are no more clues or leads to follow. That is until her mother, Laurel meets a mysterious and charming man called Floyd.
Before she knows it, she is meeting his daughters, one of which is the spitting image of Ellie.
Laurel begins to question everything, and wonders if something terrible has happened to Ellie, and what the connection is between her and Floyd.
Then She Was Gone is a dark, bone-chilling thriller that keeps you on your toes. If you are looking to be caught up in a family drama, or a suspenseful thriller, then there are other books that you can get your teeth into.
If you loved Then She Was Gone, then you’ll thoroughly enjoy books like The Couple Next Door, The Woman In The Window, All The Missing Girls, The Perfect Family, and Local Woman Missing.
Themes In Then She Was Gone
An apparent theme in Then She Was Gone is grief. In losing her daughter, Laurel is unable to move on.
She still holds out hope that she will one day find out what happened to Ellie. Grief and trauma play an integral role in the plot of Then She Was Gone.
One of the main themes within this book is how losing someone can impact a family. Jewell articulates this very well in the book, and explores how a family will cope when a child goes missing, and there are no answers or leads.
A mother’s love is also an important factor in this book, as Laurel will do anything to uncover the truth of what happened to Ellie.
In this case, the perfect family, and the perfect life is brought to a stop. There is divorce, estrangement, and Laurel has put her life on hold in trying to find out what happened to Ellie.
Laurel compares her daughter Hanna to Ellie, which causes a divide between the two, and Hanna begins to resent her mother and Ellie.
You also learn about how childhood and upbringing impact the villains’ identity, and how it leads them to commit the horrific acts that they do.
This book has twists and turns, and keeps you guessing until the end. This book is well-written, riveting, but will haunt you.
Books Like Then She Was Gone
If you are looking for similar suspenseful novels like Then She Was Gone, then you will love some of these recommendations.
If you loved Then She Was Gone, you will enjoy The Couple Next Door. This book has twists on every page! It’s fast-paced, and you can even read it in one go, as you will not want to put it down.
The premise is similar to others in the genre. The perfect couple, the perfect life, a lovely home, a beautiful baby, but all of that is set to change. When they go to a dinner party next door, a horrible crime is committed.
The blame is placed upon our protagonists, and the whole family dynamic begins to unravel.
Everyone is a suspect, and soon all of their deepest darkest secrets begin to unfold. This novel is chilling, surprising, and will stay with you.
- Cleverly depicts a family in crisis after the baby is kidnapped.
- Twists and turns at every corner.
- Compulsive page-turner filled with shocking revelations.
- Poor choices made by detectives and characters in the story can be frustrating, to say the least.
Themes: Missing Child, Secrecy, Duplicity, Suspense, Thriller
The Woman In The Window is an incredibly popular thriller and psychological suspense book. The main character, Anna, lives in New York but never leaves the house.
She’s terrified of the outside world, and only sees her therapist, who comes to visit her in her home.
She watches from the window, and has very little social interaction, but she sees a young family move in across the street. They look like the image of a perfect family, until Anna witnesses something that she shouldn’t have.
Dark things begin happening, and she tries to get to know them in order to uncover the truth. There are multiple twists in this book that you will not see coming, which are expertly crafted by the author.
- Unreliable narrator that plays around with our perception of what is actually happening, and what the narrator ‘sees’.
- As we unravel what led Anna to live alone, we learn more about her background in a shocking turn of events.
- Can be read quickly, and is a real page-turner.
- A lot of repetition, and the introduction is very long and hard to get through.
Themes: Crime, Secrecy, Suspense, Psychological, Thriller.
Another New York Times Bestseller, this book will become one of your favorite page-turners. You will have to pay attention to this one if you want to keep up.
The story of All The Missing Girls follows the disappearance of two young women, both a decade apart, but the tale is told in reverse.
The protagonist, Nicolette left her hometown ten years ago after a close friend Corinne mysteriously disappeared without a trace.
Nic is back to care for her father and finds herself in the midst of a shocking drama that makes Corinne’s case resurface.
Only Nic, her brother Daniel, her boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend, Jackson were suspects at the time, and only Nic left town to move on.
But, when Nic returns, another girl called Annaleise goes missing. Nic spends her time trying to figure out how Annaleise has gone missing, and along the way finds out what really happened to Corinne.
- The writing is excellent and jaw-dropping.
- Mystery will keep you turning the pages.
- Enjoyable premise of a small town falling apart under the weight of the characters’ secrets.
- The telling of the tale is backwards, which can be jarring and difficult to follow for some readers.
Themes: Missing Girl, Drama, Suspense, Mystery, Family Ties.
If you loved the aspect of family dynamics coming into play in Then She Was Gone, then you will enjoy The Perfect Family. This book is another bestseller, focusing on a family that is pushed to their limits.
Thomas and Viv Adler are the perfect couple. They are the envy of all who meet them, with a beautiful home, well-behaved children, and they are as successful as they are attractive.
However, their perfect life begins to crack, as their home is pelted with eggs and they become the victims of pranks.
It begins with slashed tires, but slowly the pranks begin to escalate, and the Adlers are under threat wherever they turn. They try to get help from the police, but are dismissed.
The problem is, each person is hiding something, and each has enemies. It seems that they are about to get their comeuppance, with threats around every corner…
This book is very dark, unsettling, and will keep you on your toes.
- Cleverly deals with how the exterior does not always match the interior. From the outside, the family seems perfect, but beneath the surface everything is not what it seems.
- Only the reader gets to hear the inner secrets of the characters.
- Plot is fast-paced, and you won’t want to put it down.
- Ending felt lackluster for many readers.
Themes: Threat, Mystery, Violence, Thriller, Suspense, Family Dynamics
This book follows a community in crisis after local women start disappearing. Shelby is the first to go, followed by Meredith and her daughter, Delilah in the same area where Shelby disappeared.
The community lives in fear, wondering who will be next, and if the two women are somehow connected. As the search continues, the trail goes cold.
That is until Delilah returns, and everyone wants to know what really happened to her, and her mother. No one is prepared for the truth…
- Twists that you won’t see coming.
- Filled with flawed characters.
- Explores the secrets behind a tight-knit ‘perfect’ community of people.
- There is a lot of repetition of the same unhelpful information which can be irritating.
Themes: Missing Woman, Mystery, Suspense, Evil.
If you are looking for a suspenseful page-turner to fill the void after finishing Then She Was Gone, then any of these suggestions should suit your needs.
From All The Missing Girls, to The Perfect Family, or The Woman In The Window, you’ll be on the edge of your seat, trying to uncover what happened in these mysterious thrillers (If you want more mystery, check out Cain’s Jawbone and other books like it right here).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is The Woman In The Window Disturbing?
Yes, there are many disturbing scenes in The Woman In The Window.
From extreme violence to unsettling suspense, and the notion of psychological disorders, this book deals with some very heavy topics that can be upsetting for some.
Is There Violence In Local Woman Missing?
There are a lot of difficult topics dealt with in Local Woman Missing, including infidelity, profanity, kidnapping, violence, death, and neglect. Some scenes can be tough to read, so you should be aware of this.
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