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He's Gone: A Novel Paperback – May 14, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 284 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

On Sunday morning after a wild party, Dani wakes up alone and hopes her husband has gone to get coffee and muffins. A little later, she thinks maybe he is angry about a tiff the night before and decided to spend Sunday at work. It isn’t until dark is falling and she finds his car in the parking lot near their home that she begins to worry. What follows are agonizing days of searching and hoping. Did something awful happen, or is his disappearance voluntary? Neither answer is comforting, and Dani proceeds to rethink every moment of their marriage, from their first meeting to the party right before his disappearance. With every memory, painful or joyous, Dani dissects their relationship and asks deep questions about the meaning of happiness and fidelity. Readers will find themselves swept up by the crisis, made palpable by Caletti’s believable characters and their raw emotions. As much a gripping emotional thriller as it is a book about love and relationships, Caletti’s newest work will please old fans and garner new ones. --Cortney Ophoff

Review

"Caletti makes a striking adult debut with this tale of a husband's mysterious disappearance. . . . Well-written, strongly characterized and emotionally complex fiction." ---Kirkus Starred Review --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345534352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345534354
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (284 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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By Mary Lins TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 14, 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Dani Keller's husband disappears at the beginning of Deb Caletti's new novel, "He's Gone". I'd never read a Caletti novel before but I was intrigued by the notion of a husband disappearing into thin air, and Caletti does not disappoint. This story grabs you from page one as Dani Keller first assumes her husband, Ian, has gone out to get them coffee and pastries. But as the day passes and phone calls go unanswered, Dani slowly realizes that Ian is gone and soon she realizes that either he CAN'T contact her or he WON'T.

Thus Dani proceeds to fill us in on their back-story and the lives they have had that led up to the morning of Ian's disappearance. This is not always a pretty story, and that makes Dani and Ian true-to-life characters because they are far far from perfect people. But as all avid readers know, it's the flaws in characters and their bad choices that make for riveting reading. Dani is a fairly reliable narrator; her internal monologue is well written and mature. The character doesn't hide her sins or make too many excuses for them, although I suspect some readers will be set against her on principle. (Over the years of writing reviews I've noticed that there are certain readers who decidedly do not like stories that involve adultery. If you are one of those readers, this book is definitely not for you.)

I found "He's Gone" to be a compulsively readable novel. Through frantic Dani, Caletti creates suspense and a high desire to FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED. But even more than this, and what gets it a 5-star in my opinion, is that while Dani tries to figure it all out she is basically giving us a inside view on modern marriage. Sure, not everyone's marriage, but some people's for sure.

Ultimately Dani has to realize that you shouldn't look to other people to rescue you from your life; only you can do that. That's a worthy moral, in my opinion.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What if you sacrificed everything for the promise of escape...and then it wasn't worth it? How far would the guilt and disappointment make you go?

He's Gone is a story of two people who need each other desperately. That is, until they get what they wish for. Unfortunately they find out after it's much too late that "people bring their same selves to every situation, to all their relationships."

And just as the shine is beginning to wear off, the unthinkable happens.

I read this book in two days--and it's not a short or a light read. I read it while cooking dinner, I read it when I should have been working, and I read it waaaaaay too late at night because I truly could not put it down. Sure, it's a mystery and all, but it's much more than your average whodunnit.

For one thing, every single character (even the missing one!) is richly, beautifully developed. You KNOW these people. And Dani in particular is wonderfully crafted. It's easy to identify with her need for rescue, her misgivings, her guilt, and her self-doubt. Maybe you haven't been in her exact situation before but you have felt her emotions. And maybe you don't suspect the worst of yourself, but you probably have similar fears about what you're capable of, if pushed too far.

The relationship between Ian and his daughters post-divorce was spot-on, as was the encounter between Dani and Mary. Even old Pollux was a great character. And the butterfly symbolism throughout the book was masterfully done.

Fantastic read. Five stars and definitely one of my new favorite novels ever.
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Format: Paperback
Deb Caletti is an award-winning author of young-adult fiction. With her new book, “He’s Gone,” Caletti drops all trappings of young adult literature and tackles a weighty adult theme head-on: can we ever really know another human being, especially someone close like a husband, or are we destined always to interpret our loved ones ineptly and imperfectly through our own experiences?
 
“He’s Gone” is narrated entirely in the first person from the wife’s point of view. Dani, the wife, lives with her second husband, Ian, on a houseboat near Seattle. They’ve been married for three years and their marriage seems, at first appearance, to be loving and close. However, we soon learn that their marriage is the result of both having indulged in a steamy adulterous affair while still married to their first spouses.
 
The book opens in the present day with Ian’s sudden disappearance after the two of them return from a night at a party. Dani has had too much alcohol and immediately goes to sleep. When she awakes the next morning, her husband is gone. There are absolutely no overt signs indicating what may have become of him.
 
At the end of this novel, readers do find out what happened to Ian…but this is not, by any means, the arc of the plot that drives this novel forward. Rather, this book is about Dani and how she deals psychologically and emotionally with the loss. At first, Dani has to deal with the day-to-day problems of her husband’s disappearance. Eventually, she starts to dig deep into her memory to try to figure out if there is any clue there about what may have happened to her husband. In particular, Dani is looking for any reason why Ian might be motivated to abandon her. Was there some flaw in the marriage that caused him to leave?
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