Good as gone

Amy Gentry

Book - 2016

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FICTION/Gentry, Amy
1 / 2 copies available
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1st Floor FICTION/Gentry, Amy Due Jul 19, 2022
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Subjects
Genres
Suspense fiction
Published
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2016.
Language
English
Physical Description
273 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780544920958
0544920953
Main Author
Amy Gentry (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Julie, kidnapped from her home at 13, miraculously arrives back on her doorstep eight years later. Her parents, Anna and Tom, and her sister, Jane, try to reconnect, but Julie is secretive and rebellious, sneaking out instead of going to counseling and, aside from generic testimony for the police report, refusing to talk about what happened to her. Anna begins to wonder, Is this young woman really Julie, or could it be someone else? Clever perspective changes give Gentry's debut building suspense; Anna, speaking in first person, considers her daughter's remoteness and meets with a PI to discover where Julie goes during the day; as Anna's investigation moves forward, chapters from Julie's perspective move backward, so readers inch toward learning more about her identity. Fans of Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train will enjoy the shifting points of view and the complex female characters, and those who liked Samantha Hunt's Mr. Splitfoot will appreciate the seedy characters and haunting theme of childhood vulnerability. The prevalence of pedophilia and sexual abuse may be too much for some, but Gentry's depiction of a family working through immense suffering will connect with many readers. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Eight years ago, 13-year-old Julie was kidnapped from her room while little sister Janie watched with horror from the closet. Her parents spent countless hours and funds searching for her to no avail. Fast-forward to the present, when an adult Julie rings the doorbell at the family home and literally falls back into their lives. The family's joy is tempered with awkwardness, regret, and suspicion. Then a private investigator emerges and suggests that Julie is not who she claims to be. Debut novelist Gentry presents a familiar plot—a missing relative returning to an unsure family. But Gentry's treatment is effective, with a swift-moving narrative, an interesting backstory for Julie, and engrossing insight into mother Anna's ambivalence and grief. The story alludes to but ultimately misses the opportunity to discuss serious issues (e.g., child trafficking), but for the beach read that this book ultimately is, that's an acceptable omission. The audio production is of good quality, and narrator Karen Peakes does a nice job giving voice to multiple characters, all of whom exhibit a wide range of emotions and angst. VERDICT Fans of Sarah Steiner and Megan Abbott should enjoy this title. ["A good pick for fans of mysteries, thrillers, and family drama": LJ Xpress Reviews 8/5/16 review of the Houghton Harcourt hc.]—Nicole A. Cooke, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

The life of Anna Davalos, the narrator of Gentry's suspenseful if flawed first novel, has been defined by a single night—when her 13-year-old daughter, Julie, was abducted at knifepoint by an intruder into their Houston home, a crime witnessed by her terrified 10-year-old daughter, Jane. Eight years later, Anna's relationship with Jane is strained, and no one is looking for Julie any more. Anna's life is upended again when Julie shows up on her doorstep, traumatized physically and mentally. Julie's account of her captivity is harrowing, but Anna soon suspects that Julie isn't being completely honest about what happened. Those doubts extend to the basic question of whether the young woman is really Julie or a manipulative, cynical imposter. As the family adjusts to the new reality, Anna's relationships with her husband and Jane suffer. Gentry does a good job of making the characters, especially Anna, psychologically plausible, but the final revelation is a letdown. Agent: Sharon Pelletier, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. (July) [Page ]. Copyright 2016 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When a woman appears on her family's doorstep claiming to be her long-lost daughter, kidnapped at the age of 13, Anna Whitaker has nagging doubts, and turns to a private eye for help. 100,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a young woman appears on Anna Whitaker's doorstep claiming to be her long-lost daughter, kidnapped at the age of thirteen, Anna has nagging doubts and turns to a private eye for help.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night:the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic--but Anna, Julie's mother, has whispers of doubts. She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter. Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages"--

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic'but Anna, Julie's mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.   Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.   Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages. Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.  

Review by Publisher Summary 7

Propulsive and suspenseful, Good as Gone will appeal to fans of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, and keep readers guessing until the final pages. Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic'but Anna, Julie's mother, has whispers of doubts.  She hates to face them. She cannot avoid them. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she begins a torturous search for the truth about the woman she desperately hopes is her daughter.