After letting the bright yellow cover taunt me from my shelves for months, I finally picked up Good as Gone by Amy Gentry, and while it was an interesting suspense thriller, it definitely went in a different direction than I was expecting.
Julie disappeared when she was thirteen years old, and in the eight years since, her mother has pretty much given up hope on finding her, her father has devoted his time to the “Julie Fund” and other efforts to find missing children, and her younger sister, Jane, has started acting out. In the span of one day, Ann, their mother’s, life is thrown into disarray when Jane comes home from college early, lugging some incomplete classes with her, and a girl claiming to be Julie shows up on their doorstep, back home after eight years, claiming she was help by multiple different men, including as a sex slave in Mexico.
As the story progresses, we alternate between the perspectives of Ann and Julie and get a look at what actually happened to Julie and how Ann is handling her return, when she thought her daughter was dead and gone. The entire first half of the book had me thinking that the character of Julie was going somewhere ENTIRELY different, and while I understand what happened, and think the loose ends were tied up rather nicely, I can’t help but thinking that the book would have been a little more exciting if it HAD gone where I thought it was going.
If you’re fascinated by missing children stories, stories like those of Elizabeth Smart, or books like Room, this is a great book for you. It’s a quick read that I read in two foul sweeps, and it definitely engrosses you as a reader. If you, like me, think it’s going somewhere else and are excited about that, check out the documentary IMPOSTER on Netflix. That’s where I thought this book was going, and I think it would have been pretty great if it had gone there and explored it. Alas. I had such great theories too! It ends up being a pretty typical missing kid story with a few wrenches thrown in there, but it all shakes out well in the end, luckily.
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