Friday 23 July 2021

Review: The Night She Disappeared by Lisa Jewell

'Mum, there's some people here from college, they asked me back to theirs. Just for an hour or so. Is that OK?'

Midsummer 2017: teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim.

At 11 p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home.

Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place.

Tallulah never returns.

2018: walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a head teacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence.

A sign that says: DIG HERE . . .

Review: The great thing about a Lisa Jewell novel is the intricate details that she includes, details that briefly come up somewhere in the book and mean so much more than you realise at the time. The details of characters and the details of settings and events. This book is so reliant on those details and that's what I loved about it so much. 

Another thing that Lisa Jewell has always done well is to keep up with changes in trends and changes in technology. So many authors shy away from this but when you read a novel from this author you can be sure that popular trends and technology will features. This is a great because when you go back and read them years later, there is a sense of nostalgia fro the time the book was set. I loved the fact that Instagram and travel vlogging features so widely in this book. I felt like I could relate to the characters in the book more because of that. 

As always with a Lisa Jewell novel, we get fed details slowly but surely throughout the book. There are multiple time lines through a variety of narratives but all come down to one thing, the night she disappeared. I just loved the fact that we get details from one perspective and then we switch to another perspective meaning that we have to wait until we're back with that character/timeline before we can see the impact of what has just happened. 

Tallulah and Kim are interesting characters. Even though Kim plays such a vital role in the book, she is Tallulah's Mum after all, we don't get told a lot of details about her. We learn of her as a mum and a grandma and we know that she has had this awful thing happen to her but that is about it when it comes to details about her. We are fed a lot more information about Tallulah but as usual this information is revealed slowly but surely. I love the fact that we have queer representation in this novel and I liked the part that views on peopler's sexuality plays an important part of the plot in this case. 

I listened to this book on audiobook and the narrator did a great job. You do have to be paying close attention when listening, however, to make sure that you haven't missed a change in timeline or narrative. I would say that if you can read this book as an ebook or a physical book, that would be the better choice. I adored the fact that this book was structured into multiple parts and there are reveals towards the end of each part meaning you're compelled to keep reading and find out what the next part has in store. 

I loved the structure, I loved the detailing and I loved the intense pressure of the storyline in the latest Lisa Jewell novel. The Night She Disappeared will have you questioning what you know and turning the pages to find the answers that you need. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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