The Night She Disappeared is Lisa Jewell’s latest book, having come out in the middle of last year. It focuses on the night a mother’s daughter disappears (shock) and the resulting search her mother and a lady who also gets involved partake in.
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The Night She Disappeared follows a similar form to a lot of Lisa Jewell’s books – it covers the tale of a very dark night and switches between two different times which both eventually build towards a crescendo where you find out what happens in the current day as the one searching to find out and the retelling of the events in the other timeline. It’s a great formula that, without even trying, you find yourself sitting up later than you want reading, wanting to find out more and more.
The Night She Disappeared plot – 4/5
Two years ago Tallulah and her friends are having a party at a house and Talulluah and her boyfriend go missing. In modern-day we follow Kim, Tallulah’s mother and Sophie who moves into a house near some woods and then finds a sign which says “Dig here!” Just as Kim is giving up on her missing daughter, Sophie finds the sign which brings her right into the case and opens up a new line of interest, helping Kim to get closer than ever to really finding out what happened to her daughter in that fateful night.
As I said above, Jewell has this fantastic technique of writing two timelines, both of which slowly build a crescendo in their respective time zones. It makes reading the book utterly addictive as things are slowly drip-fed to you towards the end of each chapter and things that intertwine more between the two different timelines.
The Night She Disappeared features a plot that will have you hooked from the first page until the page. It features a compelling story where you really can’t guess what actually happened until the very end when it’s all revealed to you.
The Night She Disappeared characters – 4.5/5
In previous books, I’d say that Lisa Jewell hasn’t quite nailed great characters – however in The Night She Disappeared, she’s really defined each character and added depth and layers to them that make them genuinely believable. In Tallulah, we have someone who had a baby very young and as a result, her whole life revolves around this child. She’s never been particularly popular and so lacks any form of self-esteem. This resonates throughout the whole book and guides her character throughout.
Other supporting characters also have very clearly defined personalities – there’s the aggressive one, the complicated and difficult one and the doting mother. There are also other relationships throughout the novel that differ from one another, adding to the depth.
What I really appreciate about Lisa Jewell books is that they feel modern and relatable. This isn’t somebody trying to sound like they know what technology, words or things people are into – she’s clearly somebody who is comfortable with all of it, knows how it’s used and isn’t afraid to implement it into her books to make them feel more down-to-earth and real.
The Night She Disappeared summary – 4/5
The Night She Disappeared was a good, fun read. Is it going to blow your minds? No. But will it keep you on your toes, wanting to know more about these characters and where things are going to lead them? Very much so, yes.
With some genuinely layered characters and a plot that will keep you flipping the pages, this may well be my favourite Lisa Jewell novel yet.