Thursday, March 21, 2013

review: when she was gone by gwendolen gross

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The disappearance of recent high school graduate Linsey Hart causes a neighborhood uproar.  Some are suspicious of an eccentric neighbor while others think Linsey’s run off.  When She Was Gone spans 10 days in a suburban neighborhood filled with run of the mill secrets:  Linsey and her high school sweetheart aren’t as broken up as Linsey’s mother believes, the music teacher sometimes wears his dead mother’s clothes, and one of the women is having an affair.

With such a mundane setting, this novel filled with unlikable characters needed something big to make Linsey’s disappearance suspenseful, but it lacked even that.  The constant divergences into subplots, although entertaining at times, that had nothing to do with Linsey made me wonder if there would ever be a resolution.  The writing was quite passive which made the story drag at times; even the revelation of what happened with Linsey comes passively through the musings of a neighbor whose only connection was that Linsey baby-sat her children.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

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