Friday, May 10, 2013

Guest Book Review: When She Was Gone

By Marlene Engel

In a small town, where it’s not uncommon to smell the lovely scent of fresh baked pies in the air or hear the joyful noise of children playing outside, one family’s life has been abruptly turned upside down. One week before Linsey Hart was to leave for Cornell to begin her first semester at college, she mysteriously disappeared. Desperate to find her daughter, Abigail starts going door to door, asking her neighbors for any information that they could provide for her daughter’s whereabouts. Although everyone is concerned and wanting to help, no one has any real leads. However, there are a couple people who may have some information. There’s Timmy, Linsey’s ex-boyfriend and true love. Abigail recently told Linsey that she could no longer date Timmy for fear that she would follow the same path she did in life by getting too serious with a boy at such a young age. Did he have something to do with her disappearance? Would he know where Linsey is? Or there is the strange Mr. Leonard who is a retired piano teacher and recluse. He is always playing his piano at all hours of the day and night. He has even been rumored to wear his late mother’s wedding gown while playing. The neighbors have always found him to be very mysterious and odd. Could he have something to do with her disappearance?

As Abigail feverishly searches for any clues about her daughter’s disappearance, her neighbor, who seems to have the perfect life and be the most popular among the neighborhood women, is having her own issues to deal with. Reeva, who on the outside appears to be living the life that Abigail only dreams of, has her own secrets. Worried that her husband may have found someone else and thinking that she was getting too old at such a young age, it was no surprise that she ate up all of the attention that the cute, young barista at Starbucks was giving her. After several encounters she found out that he wasn’t much older than her own daughter, but was the attention too good to give up? And when she finds out that she’s pregnant, is the baby her husband’s or her young lover’s?

When She Was Gone is an emotional book that addresses what many parents fear the most … having their children go missing. The author takes you through the day-to-day steps of what the family, neighbors and law enforcement go through during such an event. As a parent, this is something that is always in the back of one’s mind. No one ever wants to hear that their child has gone missing. This book did a great job depicting the emotions and feelings that not only the family, but the community goes through during such an event. I really enjoyed how each character in the book was tied into helping find Linsey while they were going through their own personal struggles. There were a couple things that I didn’t like about the book. I felt that the author bounced around from one topic to the next and also didn’t always tie up the ends of crucial events. At times I was left thinking "and then what happened?" but never quite getting the answers. Overall, I felt the book was very good and I enjoyed the suspense. The author did a great job addressing such a sensitive subject. I would definitely recommend this book to others and look forward to reading other books by this author.

Thanks to Gallery Books for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Marlene Engel is a stay at home mom who runs a home daycare. She lives in Clifton Park, New York with her husband and three year-old daughter. She also has three older boys who live away from home while attending college. She is an adoptive/foster parent and an advocate for the special needs population. In her spare time she enjoys reading and getting together with her book club.

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1 comment:

Nova said...

I cannot wait to read this book!
Nice review.