Thank you to NetGalley and Random House U.K, Cornerstone for the opportunity to read this ARC in return for an honest and unbiased review.
This was the first book I’ve read from Lisa Jewell and it was an emotional and suspenseful read. This story follows Laurel Mack whose daughter, Ellie, went missing 10 years ago. Ellie was never found, and no-one knows what happened to her and we start in the present tense, following Laurel and life 10 years after Ellie has gone. Laurel meets Floyd and they develop a relationship which leads Laurel to meet his daughter Poppy, who looks shockingly like her lost daughter Ellie and this causes her to start questioning Ellie’s disappearance and what happened to her.
This is told in both the present tense and the past tense and from several points of view although Laurels is the most prominent POV that we hear. I really enjoyed the POV of telling and the changing past/present tense as it helped really weave Laurel’ current situation together with what happened in the past to Ellie and it was especially heart-breaking to hear Ellie tell her story of what happened to her.
I felt unsure about Laurel at first, she just seemed very cold and uncaring, but you soon come to see that it’s caused by the loss of Ellie and everything that came with it – her other daughter Hanna is cold towards her and her marriage to her husband broke down. Despite the multiple POV telling, Laurel is the main character in this story and the way her character is developed really makes you feel for her. You feel annoyed and angry with her. You felt sympathetic and wanted to reach in and hug her which was strange because as said, I was really unsure of Laurel at first and I thought this was going to be another book where I really wasn’t sure if I liked the main character.
The writing was fantastic and really keeps you gripped and even when there didn’t seem to be much going on, I was still gripped and didn’t find myself getting bored with the story. I didn’t figure out exactly what had happened to Ellie – I had some idea of what have happened to her but the reality of it was quite twisted. Again, one of the things that made it so great was the realism and the reality that this could happen. I feel like one of the things that did slightly let this down was the lack of police investigation into the original disappearance, once you find out what actually happened it’s hard to believe that they wouldn’t have seen that lead, but I suppose that there wouldn’t be a story if Ellie had been found!
Overall I thought this was a great, twisted and suspenseful read and I would definitely recommend picking it up! I will definitely be looking into other works from Lisa Jewell so look out for more reviews in the future!