Published June 21, 2016
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have been meaning to read one of David Bell’s books for quite some time. I thought the description of “Since She Went Away” sounded very interesting. I requested it on Netgalley and was quite happy when it was approved.
Jenna Springer is a hard-working single mother to fifteen year old son, Jared. Her life has recently been turned upside down as just a few months earlier her best friend, Celia disappeared.
The book opens three months after Celia’s disappearance. Jenna is at a site where police are searching after something suspicious was reportedly found. Jenna is terrified about what they might find but feels she has to be there in support of her best friend. Jenna is relieved but exhausted when the police finally announce that the search has turned up nothing in relation to Celia’s case. However, it’s right at that moment that a pushy reporter shoves a microphone in Jenna’s face. Feeling cold and tired and not thinking clearly, Jenna reacts and curses, giving the media a clip they are only happy to replay over and over on the news that evening. This causes an already suspicious town to wonder if Jenna really does have something to hide.
The media and public have their suspicions of Jenna as she is her best friend and the last person in contact with Celia. Feeling disconnected from her friend, Jenna had asked Celia to meet her at midnight at one of their old meeting places. However, just as Jenna is about to leave to meet Celia, an issue with her son, Jared comes up. This causes her to be late for meeting Celia. Jenna is known for being late to everything and hopes Celia will understand when she arrives. But when she does get to their meeting spot, Celia is nowhere to be found. At first Jenna thinks Celia just went home but when one of Celia’s diamond earrings is found at the scene she is officially declared a missing person.
Jenna is desperate to find out what has happened to Celia. Did someone take her? Or is it possible that Celia could have decided to just walk away from her life? Her life with her husband, Ian and teenage daughter, Ursula seemed fine but who knows what goes on behind closed doors.
Now on top of everything else Jenna’s son Jared’s new girlfriend, Tabitha has suddenly gone missing. Could this somehow be related to Celia’s disappearance?
The story is told from Jenna and her son, Jared’s point of view. As the story continues more and more things come to light and it’s hard to guess who to trust. We learn more about Celia, and her friendship with Jenna, all the way back to high school. We also learn that Jenna, Celia and Ian (Celia’s husband) were all very close friends at one time.
At the same time more information about Jared’s relationship with the mysterious Tabitha and her life comes to light. Although both stories are very interesting on their own, we do eventually see how these two story lines intertwine. There was a lot going on in this story.
This is a really good book with an interesting plot and great character development. I really liked the two main characters Jenna and Jared, a single mother and her teenage son that came across as believable characters. I enjoyed their relationship. The many other characters were also interesting and well-written. I loved Jenna’s friend Sally. She’s the kind of friend I wish I had around, especially during hard times. But still you never know who you can trust in a novel like this. I was suspicious of almost everyone at some point. With the many twists and turns I had lots of different theories about what happened and who was responsible and my guesses kept changing as the story played out.
It came together fairly well in the end and although I had figured out some of what happened I was very surprised in regards to who was responsible for what. I did not see that coming.
I was fairly satisfied with all that happened but found the ending to be rather abrupt. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more information about what happened after things were “resolved” and how the characters lives went on.
All in all a very good read. I look forward to my next read from this author.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher and David Bell for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.