Monday, September 26, 2016
Good as Gone by Amy Gentry
That's the dilemma facing the Whitaker family when their kidnapped older daughter, Julie, appears on their doorstep one evening -- 8 years after she had vanished! They all want to believe -- but is this girl who is so different really Julie? Her stories about what happened during those 8 years reveal horrible abuse and degradation. Is that why she seems changed? Anna, the mother, has some doubts that she can't seem to face. Denial. Hope. In equal measures.
Although this is a mystery in some ways, it is more a story of relationships between mothers and daughters. Of things spoken and those words left unsaid. A chasm of needs not met due to a lack of communication. And a tragedy that results from that kind of neglect.
I thought I would like this more than I did, but mostly I was just annoyed because a simple DNA test at the outset would have answered all the questions. No, I'm not giving it away here. I don't understand denial as a self defense mechanism, so that's probably why I have some issues. Found the whole story a bit hard to believe, really, and the ending where it was all neatly tied up fell short of meeting my expectations for a climax. I never connected with any of the characters, especially not Anna, and the sister and husband of Anna were completely undeveloped.
It was fast paced and I read it in an evening but would not really consider it suspenseful or any type of thriller -- more domestic drama. Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the e-book ARC to review.