When She Was Gone

When She Was Gone by Gwendolen Gross - 275 pages
Book Blurb:
Seventeen-year-old Linsey Hart disappears the day before she’s due to leave for college. As her neighbors piece together what they saw and what they think they know about the missing girl, their long-held secrets, prejudices, and entanglements become rudely evident.
There’s Linsey’s mother, Abigail, whose door-to-door searching makes her social outcast status painfully obvious; stay-at-home mom Reeva, whose primary concern is covering up the affair she’s been having with the Starbucks barista; Mr. Leonard, a reclusive retired piano teacher—and the last person to see Linsey alive; George, an eleven year-old gifted loner who is determined to find out what happened to Linsey; and
Timmy, Linsey’s ex-boyfriend, who is left grieving as he embarks on his own college career.

My Review: 3 stars
Without hearing from Linsey’s point of view, the main character in this book, we instead hear from a fabulous cast of characters and their actions during the 5 days that Linsey “was gone”. This title leads you to believe this is more a mystery genre than what it actually is. This is a wonderful microscopic look into the lives of the family and neighbors who knew or saw Linsey in some capacity. Secrets are kept and sometimes unveiled during this tumultuous time. It’s interesting to see what happens behind closed doors especially with the excellent descriptive writing from this author. I felt the wrap to the mystery was not realistic although that was what kept the pages turning. Great, quick summer read!
Quotes I liked:
- “She wasn’t in love with this boy, she told herself, she couldn’t be, but she wanted to eat his history, suck him up, be a girlfriend.”

- “Until high school, I thought she was a snob, but she was just busy doing, while I was busy thinking. Wasteful. Mental masturbation.”

- “...his parents bought him a used Nikon camera he’d coveted from the camera shop in town. Its silvery body was an empty notebook awaiting possible poetry.”

- “He wasn’t even listening. She could open her mouth and birds could spill out onto the table, mockingbirds, crows, raptors, and he’d just get up and leave his dish on the counter and go sit down in his permanently pleated work pants and beige cashmere sweater reading a travel magazine and she’d never know what he was thinking-because he could never know what she was thinking.”

- “...it was as though he walked inside parentheses, keeping him from other words of the sentence, just a bit off from everyone else.”

- “ -maybe there was something about this queen bee she could rely on. Or maybe she was just being lulled by the honey and the wing beats.”
Tags: 2013, Fiction, Mystery

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