“A perfect balance of darkness and intricate struggles. Mix in a nail-biting plot and you have one outstanding read.”
- Ann Hite, award-winning author of Ghost on Black Mountain
What happened to Linsey Hart?
When the Cornell-bound teenager disappears into the steamy blue of a late-summer morning, her quiet neighborhood is left to pick apart the threads of their own lives and assumptions. Linsey’s neighbors are just ordinary people—but even ordinary people can keep terrible secrets hidden close.
There’s Linsey’s mother, Abigail, whose door-to-door searching makes her social-outcast status painfully obvious; Mr. Leonard, the quiet, retired piano teacher with insomnia, who saw Linsey leave; Reeva, the queen bee of a clique of mothers, now obsessed with a secret interest; Timmy, Linsey’s lovelorn ex-boyfriend; and George, an eleven-year-old loner who is determined to find out what happened to his missing neighbor.
As the days of Linsey’s absence tick by, dread and hope threaten to tear a community apart. This luminous new novel by the acclaimed author of The Orphan Sister explores coming of age in the shadows of a suburban life, and what is revealed when the light suddenly shines in. . .
“This un-put-down-able novel is the story of uncovering what happened to Linsey Hart. When the college-bound 17-year-old suddenly disappears one morning, it turns her quiet, suburban neighborhood upside down.
When She Was Gone has been called a cross between Little Children and The Lovely Bones and will grip you as you hear the story through the alternating points of view of her family and neighbors as they tackle issues from infidelity to long-held secrets.”
- Lisa Steinke, sheknows.com, Best Books to Take on Spring Vacation
“What happens behind the closed doors of a neighborhood, and beyond the facades of the people who live there? Gwendolen Gross has the sharp insight of a documentarian, turning her lens on each house of a frightened town after a college-bound girl goes missing.
Full of heart but free of sentimentality, When She Was Gone shows the sinews of belonging and not-belonging that bind a community.”
- Nichole Bernier, author of The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D
“You'll be unable to put down this immensely readable, even rereadable book. The characters are all engaging, and while some may be more likeable than others, each has an angle that pulls the reader in. (4.5 stars)”
- Robyn Glazer, Romantic Times
“Gwendolen Gross uses the disappearance of a young woman to tell the story of a community in crisis, and her gaze is both unflinching and surprisingly tender.
When She Was Gone is a dark but elegantly crafted book, the tension building toward climax that promises redemption to its wayward characters.”
- Holly Goddard Jones, author of The Next Time You See Me
“A teenage girl goes missing, and the reader learns the intertwining stories of her family and neighbors. The author creates a mystery surrounding the whereabouts and fate of the unusually mature 17-year-old Linsey. Along the way, other mysteries and conflicts are raised and resolved, all with an eye toward offering insights into relationships: relationships with loved ones, relationships with neighbors, relationships with those we might not ordinarily notice or care about.
Death, life, redemption and music combine in a rewarding novel.”
“Gwendolen Gross deftly depicts the dread-filled unfolding of a mother’s realization that her child is missing and clearly portrays how a crisis of this nature unearths alliances and fissures within a community.”
- Library Journal book review
Sheila Riley, Smithsonian Libraries
“Gwendolen Gross's canny twist on the missing-child trope ... is a caustic indictment of the superficiality of suburban mores and morals.”
- Booklist book review
When She Was Gone is a new, provocative, suspense-thriller novel by Gwendolen Gross. Gwendolen Gross’ highly anticipated fifth book is receiving critical and popular acclaim as a dark, engaging, page-turner that reveals the shattering secrets behind closed doors in a seemingly-safe suburban community. When She Was Gone, a women’s mystery novel, is a beautifully-crafted tale of your next-door neighbors, moms, and dads and what they hide behind closely-drawn curtains. This bestselling work of women’s fiction is a suspenseful, women’s thriller that grabs the reader from the first page when a peaceful, suburban town is rocked by the disappearance of one of their own - Linsey Hart, a college-bound seventeen year-old.