When she was 15, Laurel Mack’s beautiful daughter (and favourite child) Ellie left the house to go to the library and never returned. Written off as a runaway by the police, in the years since Laurel has lost what was left of her family – divorcing her husband as she couldn’t stand how he was able to get on with things, and withdrawing emotionally from her surviving son and daughter due to her inability to deal with her own grief. Getting through her days by sticking to a routine, Laurel is simply going through the motions and feeling numb to everything around her.
Until she meets a charismatic man in a cafe and begins a relationship with him, only to be introduced to his nine year old daughter who is the spitting image of Ellie. As Laurel slowly comes to life again, she’s unable to shake off the unanswered questions that remain in the wake of Ellie’s disappearance, which is slowly revealed in a compelling page-turner that also had the distinction of making me cry and smudging my make-up mere moments before I was supposed to start working an event.
A touching tale of grief, love, and obsession, this is my second Lisa Jewell in as many weeks. And although I guessed the whereabouts and circumstances of Ellie before I’d even reached the halfway point, there were enough reveals of other turns to stop me from feeling too short-changed by the mystery.
I don’t normally read many of this type of book as I’m usually too busy wading through dense fantasy tomes, raging at true crime or splashing about in some urban fantasy, but I’ll happily pick up some more Lisa Jewell in the future.