I had another book by Rosalind Noonan on my to-be-read list but I picked up And Then She Was Gone instead when the first was unavailable. Having never read a book by her before, I was happy that I enjoyed this one.
“Eleven-year-old Lauren O’Neil vanished one sunny afternoon as she walked home from school. Six years later, her parents Rachel and Dan still tirelessly scour their Oregon hometown and beyond, always believing Lauren will be found. Then one day, the call comes. Lauren has been rescued from a secluded farm mere miles away, and her abductor has confessed. Yet her return is nothing like Rachel imagined. Though the revelations about what Lauren endured are shocking, most heartbreaking of all is to see the bright-eyed, assertive daughter she knew transformed into a wary, polite stranger. Lauren’s first instinct is to flee. For years she’s been told her parents forgot her; now she doubts the pieces of her life can ever fit together again. But Rachel refuses to lose her a second time. Little by little they must relearn what it means to be a family, trusting that their bond is strong enough to guide them back to each other.”
Having read a few other books about kidnappings (Room; Still Missing) I would say that this one did a good job, as the others did, at showing the inner turmoil surrounding kidnapping victims and their families. Lauren’s kidnapper had convinced her that her family no longer cared about her (and that they had moved away – the book neglected to show her surprise to discover that they still live in the same house) and that she needed him to survive. Lauren is a strong, willful character who is able to adjust to her new situation with the help of wonderful therapists. The return of a kidnapping victim to her family is emotionally described through the various view points of the characters, and a further plot line that develops keeps the plot moving until the very end.
What have you been reading lately?