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When She Was Gone by Gwendolen Gross

When She Was Gone

by Gwendolen Gross

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689175,945 (3.37)None
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I liked this book. I liked the way it was constructed and I enjoyed the writing. The story had less to do with the teenage girl's disappearance, although that is the event that ties all the characters together, and more to do with the actual characters. Enjoyable character study. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
This is the story of a young girl who disappears before she is to leave for college. The story is difficult to follow as it seems to jump from character to character. There also seems to be several themes involved. I just did not care for this book at all. ( )
  CandyH | Apr 5, 2016 |
When She Was Gone by Gwendolen Gross is about a seventeen-year-old girl who goes missing just before she is about to go off to college. The author lightens up the story by letting the reader know early on that Linsey Hart had left a note before leaving her house very early that summer morning and that the note had gone missing. As the story progresses from Day One onward, concern over the missing girl and her family grows among the neighbors and families in the suburban town, but also a heightened sense of drama and sympathy fatigue, as time passes.
The story moves around – settling briefly on one character, then moving to the next, beginning with Linsey’s next-door neighbor, the solitary and eccentric piano teacher, Mr. Leonard. Reading, we gather bits of evidence from each, piecing together an outline of what happened from what each person has seen or knows. The chapter headings list neighborhood addresses (24 Sycamore St., 26 Sycamore St., etc.) cluing readers in that the focus is shifting from one character to another. Several neighbors have secrets they would prefer not to have revealed to their neighbors in the course of a police investigation.
This is a quiet story, not a shocking one or a suspenseful one. If you go into it looking for something like The Lovely Bones or Gone Girl, you’re going to be disappointed. When She Was Gone is more of a psychological novel. It doesn’t go deep into the family’s emotional reservoir the way Songs for the Missing does, but stays closer to the factual surface of the story, reporting characters’ thoughts, allowing readers to read between the lines, and getting down to the nub of dissatisfaction at the heart of suburban life.
When She Was Gone is the author’s fifth novel. The characters in When She Was Gone are well drawn and memorable. I enjoyed reading this study of a suburban town in subdued crisis mode.
For fuller review, please visit the Bay State Reader's Advisory blog. ( )
  baystateRA | Aug 15, 2013 |
Just before she's supposed to start her freshman year at college, Linsey Hart goes missing. Her absence rocks the insular commuter community, whose hypocritical residents publicly wonder how such a thing could happen, while privately disdaining the people and events at the center of Linsey's life. Summary Booklist Reviews

It was a mistake to go from the taut, two-person drama in Australia's Sandy Desert to the overpopulated tale of a teenager gone missing from her middle class neighbourhood in small town America. WHEN SHE WAS GONE is the big reveal of neighbourhood secrets. I think it's safe to assume that most readers realize that turpitude can be found as easily in suburbia as anywhere else. (Hey Vera Dietz, here's me using turpitude in a sentence!) I don't feel that the author brought anything new, either in style, content or perspective, to the topic.

And when I saw the flub on the very first page--it's Kinderszenen not Kinderscenen--well, I thought that was just plain sloppy. Also I find it odd for the retired music teacher to be playing a piano concerto by Tchaikovsky at home. Without an orchestra? What would that even sound like?

6.5 out of 10 A light read. ( )
  julie10reads | Aug 1, 2013 |
I really liked this book. This was a wonderful writing, you might think it is about a teenage girl gone missing and yet it is so much more...It introduces you to a town of people connected and yet not really and how one missing good girl connects them in different ways. Some in lust and love and others in new understanding of who they really are. The perfect aren't so perfect any more and the weird are the smarter more compassionate ones. Working together and alone to fit all the pieces together and even a few secrets escape to find her. I expected a death and there was one but in a whole other strange way.
I received this book from first reads at goodreads and I do appreciate the opportunity to read this. ( )
  denisa.howe | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Book description
Tom Perotta’s Little Children meets Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones in this suspenseful and beautifully wrought story of a seventeen-year-old girl who vanishes on the eve of her departure for college, as told through the alternating perspectives of her neighbors.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.

A keenly observed portrait of a small town under duress, When She Was Gone is a searing portrayal of the bonds that hold a community together—and the secrets and lies that threaten to rip it apart
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When seventeen-year-old Linsey Hart disappears, her entire neighborhood confronts long-buried secrets and prejudices as her social outcast mother goes door-to-door in search of her missing daughter.

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