And Then She Was Gone
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
I think most of us can identify with the raw, desperation of powerlessness; the experience of being struck bare; our frail impotence exposing our inability to take action. The abject humility of it. Like an tattered cotton pillowcase faded on the line, its worn fabric bleached by the sun and made transparent; a fade so gradual we are taken unaware when we see that its face, once splashed with color, has vanished into holes. Where once there was something, now, nothing.

In reading And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind Noonan, I expected to identify on some level with Dan and Rachel O'Neil, the parents of ten year old Lauren, who was abducted walking home from school one afternoon just before her birthday. The pain and confusion of losing a child must be unimaginable; the desperate search for answers that no one can give a torment beyond understanding. I get that. What took me by surprise int his thoughtful, well-written novel, is the heartbreak that follows when your lost lamb is returned home, reminding me that in life, there is no flag waving in the distance to signal us when an event has concluded, but in its stead, a processes, overlapping other experiences. without a measurable end.

Written in a style reminiscent of Jodi Picoult, And Then She Was Gone broaches a topic that most of would rather close our eyes to; the personal experience of child abduction, and worse, the trauma that replaces the happily-ever-after that we all unrealistically cling to.

A physical copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author for purposes of review.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Great story, I wanted to hurry up and read it to find out what was going to happen,but I didn't want it to end! Rosalind Noonan is a great story teller. Can't wait to share it with my friends. Thank you :)
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2014
One doesn't expect a rich, complex novel--a meditation, really--about how the members of a loving family struggle in the aftermath of an unthinkable crime, to be a page-turner. But Rosalind Noonan's AND THEN SHE WAS GONE is just that. That, and much, much more. Noonan's story of the O'Neil family is at once poignant, deeply moving, and chock full of insight regarding how family relationships work in the real world. And the author weaves in a mystery that is only resolved in the last few pages of the book. Noonan chose to tell this story in the voices of the entire O'Neil family, a feat that should only be tried by the most skilled writers. She manages to combine these disparate voices into a seamless story that flows with a kind of effortless grace. If you're looking for a great read that is honest, thought-provoking, and uplifting, I strongly recommend you read this book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
This is one of those books you think is just going to be about a child getting kidnapped and then whether they are ever found. If they are found will they be dead or alive? This book covers much more than that. It really tells the story of the emotions of everyone involved and how victims sometimes find it easier to talk to and trust a complete stranger rather than their own family. For a mother to have to live through this is bad enough but then to have her daughter back and she wants nothing to do with her is another tragedy. I think the author did a wonderful job giving every character a voice and allowing the reader to experience the emotions that each person was going through.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2014
And Then She Was Gone is a story about a young girl named Lauren who was kidnapped and held for 6 nightmarish years before she was found and reunited with her family. The complexities and hardships that the family goes through during Lauren's captivity and then once Lauren is found are brilliantly explored by Rosalind Noonan. We all want to believe that the nightmare ends once any victim is rescued and I appreciated Noonan's beautifully written novel depicting the long hard struggle that Lauren must endure to assemble a new life for herself. A moving tale that will won't disappoint.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
Received an emotional, heart breaking, extraordinary free good reads story And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind Noonan. I started reading this book and could not put it down until the end of the captivating story of Lauren O'Neil's struggles.
Lauren O'Neil, eleven years old, is walking home from school one day and stops to sketch a picture of a hummingbird and is kidnapped. Lauren's parents, Rachel and Dan, continue to search for Lauren for six years. Lauren's kidnapper, Kevin, has brainwashed her into believing that she is damaged goods and no one wants her. In addition to emotional and physical abuse, Lauren is sexually abused by Kevin and gives birth to a baby girl, Mackenzie. When Mackenzie, nicknamed Mac, is three years old, Mac and Lauren become violently ill. When Lauren is feeling better, she is informed that Mac passed away. Meanwhile, Kevin is arrested for robbery and Lauren is found. Lauren is scared and gravitates toward Paula, a social worker. Lauren opens up to Paula about some of her terrifying experiences. When Lauren's family come to see her, Lauren is shy, awkward, and wants to stay with Paula. As Lauren spends more time in therapy, she begins to see that it was not her fault the things that happened to her.
Read the engrossing, complex, insightful, emotionally charged recommended story And Then She Was Gone by Rosalind Noonan.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2014
Minor spoilers ahead...

I liked that this book focused on Lauren's reintegration with her family rather than on the details of the time that she was held captive. However, it all just seemed too easy...I never felt any real emotion from the characters, and there was no time invested in how they moved from one point to the next. One minute Lauren didn't want to live with her family, the next she did. One minute Sierra was a spoiled brat, the next she was a supportive sister. I felt the author just skimmed the surface of what could have been an emotionally wrenching story.

But what really ruined it for me was a major inconsistency in the story...Lauren was discovered because Kevin claimed she was his sister, but a background check revealed that he was an only child. But several times later in the book, references were made to Kevin's brother. That's a pretty major plot point to get wrong and should have been caught by an editor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2014
I couldn’t put this book down and, in fact, stayed up half the night to finish it. Rosalind Noonan’s insights into the human psyche show unusual wisdom and candor. She is so skillful at making her characters believable that you find yourself jumping on an emotional roller coaster right with them. My heart ached especially for the mother whose love for her daughter never wavered amidst great sorrow and joy. I highly recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2015
**Spoiler alerts**
Disappointed that the author just basically copied the Jacee Duggard story. The blantant similarities were embarrassing.
Cute blonde girl gets kidnapped, lives in a tent in the back of someone's property without anyone knowing. She bears a child fathered by her kidnapper. She gets rescueded. She and her family work through their trama with therapy horses.
There were things that were changed of course, but not enough to make this the author's own story. Very shameful in my opinion
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2015
This was my first book by this author and I loved it. It was a wonderfully written book about overcoming heartache, shame and the humiliation of things totally out of your control. How can a person endure what this girl did and not be bitter and mad at the whole world. I could not put this book down. I stayed up long hours just waiting to get to the next page, the next chapter.... The ending. Best book I read in a long time.
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