The three most important parts of a book are: a well constructed plot, compelling characters, and a satisfying conclusion.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

AND THEN SHE WAS GONE By Rosalind Noonan

And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind NoonanPublisher:  Kensington
Date to be Released:  December 31, 2013
Pages:  336

About the Book:  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.
Intensely moving and absorbing, this is an extraordinary story told with sensitivity and grace, and filled with the depth and breadth of a mother's love.
Wanda's Review:  Goodreads First Reads Winner

This is a story with a very sensitive subject and one that is poignant and deeply touching. Eleven year old Lauren O'Neil is abducted from her neighborhood in Portland, Oregon, as she walks home from school. Six years later she is found, and it is discovered that she had been kept only a mile or two away from her home. She had been violated, abused and endured a nightmare of cruelty. Lauren lived through a traumatic six years and it would take a long time to unravel the complex relationship between her and the abductor. She would also need help to recover and heal to become part of her family again. Lauren knew reunification with her family was the right thing to do, but she found it difficult. She couldn't even allow her Mom to love her. And the story unfolds ---

There is a wide cast of complex characters with vivid personalities. The premise of the story had potential and I was captured early on. However, it lost its momentum in the middle section and the storyline became very predictable with a rather forced ending. The book was an interesting read, but not one I would enthusiastically recommend. My rating is 3.5 stars.

Thank you to Goodreads for being selected as a First Reads Winner.
Rosalind NoonanThe Author - Rosalind Noonan
ROSALIND NOONAN grew up in suburban Maryland and enjoyed being part of a large family. "With my four siblings, Saturday mornings were a blast," she says. "There was festival seating on the living room floor as we devoured cartoons and passed the Sugar Pops."

She caught the writing bug in second grade when she won first place in a poetry contest. "The prize was twenty dollars," she recalls. "That was big bucks for a second grader. I thought I was going to Disneyland." Wooed by the taste of fame and fortune, she kept writing.

After attending Wagner College in Staten Island, she remained in New York City where she worked as an editor for various book publishers. Noonan currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, a retired cop from the NYPD, and two children. Although she sometimes misses the rapid pulse of New York, she enjoys writing in the shade of towering two-hundred year old Douglas fir trees.