ASK Musings

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Daily Archive: 17/05/2023



May 2023



The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

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Four Stars

Best for:
People who enjoy thrillers. Not for people who are triggered by discussions of abusive partners.

In a nutshell:
Tallulah is 19 and lives with her mother, 1 year-old-son, and her boyfriend Zach. One night, Tallulah and Zach go missing, and the people they were with ostensibly didn’t know them very well. Tallulah’s mother Kim tries to figure what has happened, and is helped when new clues appear a year later.

Worth quoting:
N/A – Audio book

Why I chose it:
I enjoyed her other books I read this year.

What it left me feeling:
Satisfied and surprised.

CN: Intimate partner abuse

This was a great book, helped along by the voice acting in the version I listened to – narrated by Joanne Froggatt. Considering there were at least a half dozen women’s voices she had to do, she managed to make them so distinct that I could easily follow what was going on.

The plot itself is once again a back and forth in time. We keep moving from the disappearance (June 2017), forward to the investigation as it is reopened in August / September 2018, then back to the 2016/2017 academic year to help us understand more of the situation. But the basics are: Tallulah is a young mother who, in 2017, had only reunited with her son’s father about nine months prior. She is someone who keeps to herself, focusing on school and her child.

Scarlett is someone who Tallulah perhaps knew? Perhaps not? The story unfolds but Scarlett is the home that Tallulah and Zach are last seen at before they disappear. Zach is also seen as a doting father and boyfriend, but its possible that isn’t the case.

Kim is Tallulah’s mother, who is now caring for her son and desperate to figure out what has happened. And Sophie is the partner of the new headmaster of the school Tallulah and Scarlett attend, and also happens to be the author of many detective novels.

As with the other books I’ve read by this author, I could possibly see some of the twists coming, but nothing was so foreshadowed that it was obvious. And once again, the epilogue brought resolution to a side storyline that I didn’t know I needed resolution to, and was a disturbing little addition that I appreciated.

As an aside – Jewell is really good at writing creepy men. Sometimes they are outright violent, sometimes it’s more emotional, but I could see this book being triggering for anyone who has been manipulated and abused by a partner.

Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it:
Recommend to a friend