Saturday, May 02, 2020

Book Review: And Then She Was Gone

a novel: And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind Noonan

An 11-year-old girl vanishes while walking home from school. She is not found until six years later. Reunification with her family is difficult and awkward. There is a lot of anxiety experienced by everyone in the family, except perhaps her father who is very mellow. Except he is also a high-energy fire fighter. It seems the author couldn't decide -- is he mellow or high energy?

I tried to put myself in the mother's shoes, wondering what it would be like to have a sudden return of a stranger, the daughter you missed desperately and with whom you dreamed of being reunited. The mother and daughter both struggled with reconnecting. Believable. But, I didn't like the mother character very much.

The daughter is 17 when she returns, and I kept thinking she seemed too mature for someone who had been snatched at 11, experienced trauma, and never completed school. Perhaps the author wanted us to believe that the girl matured quickly because of those experiences. Maybe. I can't explain human behavior and/or psychological responses to trauma. I could be wrong in this assessment.

Here's a weird thing: in the beginning when the girl is being snatched, we are given to believe that it is the first day she had permission to walk home alone from school. At the end of the book, it is claimed that the perp had stalked her for weeks to figure out her patterns and his snatching plan. There are many such inconsistencies in this book.

I would recommend using your reading time on other books. This one is "entertaining" but not great.

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