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Emily, Gone

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  4,583 ratings  ·  718 reviews
A missing child sets the lives of three women on a collision course in this powerful and compelling novel by USA Today bestselling author Bette Lee Crosby.


When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her bab
Paperback, 398 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  4,583 ratings  ·  718 reviews

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Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
1971, Georgia

Rachel Dixon is tired. So very tired. The last couple of days a music festival has been playing at a nearby farm. The music has kept her small family awake for days. Weary and ready to drop she puts her six-month-old daughter, Emily, down to sleep in her crib and finally sleeps herself. Only to wake up to a nightmare - Emily is gone! No longer in her crib, where could she be?

Vicki Robart is at the music festival numbing herself from the grief of losing her infant daughter months ear
Hesterville was a small town in Georgia and when a music festival was slated to happen one long weekend on a property out of town, the locals objected. But the sheriff said there was nothing he could do about it as it was out of the town’s (and his) jurisdiction. Rachel and George Dixon lived in a house abutting the property, and the constant loud, thumping music kept them, and their six-month-old baby Emily awake each night. On the final night, a violent storm hit the area which muffled the mus ...more
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
The Dixon’s live in rural Georgia where a music festival is being held in the summer of 1971. Over a three day period the family endures blaring music with shrieking crowds leading to frayed nerves and sleep deprivation. As the festival winds down Rachel Dixon forgets to lock her back door and wakes to find her baby missing from her crib.

Vicki Robart is attending the festival with her boyfriend after arriving from Kentucky. The last night of the event is getting stormy so they decide to head hom
Dale Harcombe
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In 1971 when a music festival comes through to Hesterville Georgia, many of the locals are not too happy, given the noise and upheaval it would cause. But nothing prepares Rachel and George Dixon for the trauma, it would bring to their lives. Rachel tucked her baby into sleep as usual one night and when she woke the next morning baby Emily was gone. Vicki Robart, one of the festival attendees, had a stillborn baby some months earlier. Faced with the opportunity to fill the void left behind by th ...more
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

A music festival shook the quiet town of Hesterville, Georgia, with its loud music and with the kidnapping of Rachel and George Dixon's baby.

The Dixons had been exhausted from lack of sleep because of the music festival, didn't hear anyone enter the house through the unlocked door, and awoke to find their baby's crib empty.

We find out that, Vicki, one of the festival goers had just lost her baby, chose a random house to enter to find food, but instead found her lost baby waiting in the crib and
Camille Maio
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're going to embarrass yourself by crying on a train, at least make it over a good book. This was the case when I finished Emily, Gone. Or, more to the point, I started AND finished this book on my train ride. The premise was gripping from the start and as it played out, I thought of many different ways it could end.

Crosby has written an exceptional book that raises questions about love, family, faith, and forgiveness. This one will stay with me for quite some time.
Erin Clemence
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I won an autographed copy of this novel through a Facebook contest, and although a review was not required, I wanted to honour the author and do one anyway.

In 1971, a music festival rolls through the usually quiet town of Hesterville, Georgia. In the middle of the night, an infant is taken right from her crib while she sleeps. Rachel and George are left with nothing but an empty crib and the guilt that stays with them for years, while Vicky and Murphy travel throughout the South with thei
Karren  Sandercock
In 1971, the small town of Hesterville in Georgia, was invaded by hippies there for a music festival. The crowd was much larger than expected, despite tickets being sold, and many of the shops in the town had to close. The festival played continuous loud music, some of the crowd behaved badly, and caused problems.

Rachel Dixon had a young six month old baby Emily, after two nights of blaring music, no sleep, a storm hit, and she and her husband George were exhausted. They didn’t hear the back do
Marilyn Rothstein
No wonder every reviewer I follow on social media is crazy about this book! A page-turner of a great Southern story by Bette Lee Crosby. The tale of three women and one child--compelling from beginning to end.
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A crime of opportunity: a grieving, unhinged young woman breaks into a home looking for food — and comes out with a 6-month-old baby she's convinced is her own stillborn child. While her boyfriend agonizes over how to get the baby girl back to her parents, Vicki settles right in as a mom. Meanwhile Rachel finds it impossible to get over the loss of her baby. There are plenty of wonderful small-town characters, and this story of grief, resilience, and healing is compelling and well written. This ...more
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emily, Gone had me captivated from its first pages until the last ones because of the superb storytelling of Bette Lee Crosby. The book starts in the small town of Hesterville, Georgia in 1971. The Dixon family lives close to Baker field where a music festival takes place. Vicki and her boyfriend Murph are attendees at the festival. A very stoned and hungry Vicki asks Murph to stop at the Dixons house, so she can steal food. What she ends up doing instead is kidnapping Emily, the Dixons' baby. W ...more
Emily, Gone is my first Bette Lee Crosby book but not my last! I was instantly pulled into the story of how one crazy decision changed the lives of three woman and a baby girl. Loved it!
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: from-author
One of the best books I've read this year. Set in a small Georgia town during a music festival in 1971. It changes the lives of Rachel and George when they wake to find their daughter Emily gone. Viki leaves the festival and enters the home of Rachel and George and finds their daughter Emily sleeping in her crib. Viki recently lost her baby. Viki takes Emily and what happens is a gripping story that is so emotinally charged you can't put it down. It will stay with you long after you close the co ...more
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love it! It's a beautiful story that will bring you to tears! The writing is flawless! The story captures you and you can't stop reading i was in that moment where i wanted to finish it to find out what happens because the not knowing was killing me but also not wanting to finish it i wanted to take my time and savor it. soak it in. you could really feel everything the characters were going through and it just fills your heart with so many emotions! This is definitely one of the most beautiful ...more
Mar 09, 2022 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Emily Gone" should have been called "Emily On".

WHY?  Because it was a book that just went on and on and on.

The first 25% of the book was superb.  Baby Emily is abducted from her crib during a music festival by a woman who entered the home to steal something to eat. 

Police are unable to find Emily and the case (and the book!) goes cold. 

The next 50% of the book features repetitious text and a story that drags.

The last 25% of the book was very, very, very contrived.   I was very surprised that no
Barbara Sissel
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s a nightmare no parent would want to endure, that of waking to find your child is gone, her crib empty. EMILY GONE is a heartrending portrait of one such couple whose love and trust in one another and in their married life is tested beyond imaginable limits. But who could do such a thing, take someone’s child? It’s a compelling mystery, one that will keep you turning the pages. A poignant, compassionate and engrossing book, this is a story that explores the bonds of love and family, the frag ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Emily, Gone is a compelling story of loss, love, and forgiveness. Can a wronged mother overcome grief? Will justice be demanded for terrible deeds? Emily, Gone, as told by masterful storyteller Bette Lee Crosby, will make you rethink what it means to forgive—and to rejoice in the power of healing hearts.
Linda Zagon
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Linda’s Book Obsession Reviews “Emily, Gone” by Bette Lee Crosby, Lake Union Publishing, April 30,2019

WOW!! Kudos to Bette Lee Crosby, Author of “Emily, Gone” for writing such an amazing, intense, intriguing, captivating, entertaining, dramatic and enthralling novel. This is a novel that tugged at my heartstrings. There are layers and coincidences, twists and turns, and unpredictable events in this novel. The Genres for this story are Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Mystery and Suspense. The author de
☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer)
Travel with me to 1971 and the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia.

Losing a child is both unthinkable and unbearable. Crosby introduces us to three women. The one who birthed Emily, the one who took her, and the woman who raised her. This was a beautifully poignant story that shared the many facets of grief, love and motherhood. The story spans eighteen years and allows us into the lives of these women and their families.

Crosby relays her story from POVs of all three women and one of Rachel’s mo
Kira Flowerchild
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Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One doesn’t just read a Bette Lee Crosby book , you live it. You feel the happy, the sad, the heartbreak and the joy deep in your soul !
This book is so beautifully written, with amazing characters and a story that will have you turning pages non-stop .
Every time I close the book after reading the last page , I want to pack my bags and move to this town !
Thank you Bette Lee for another fantastic read !
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
Bette Lee Crosby has outdone herself with this awesome, heartfelt, loving, heartbreaking, beautiful book.

It’s the story of a loss so great you won’t be able to read without many tears. I mean big ugly faced tears. How to you deal with waking up to an empty crib. A baby gone. You don’t have a clue what happened or where that baby is. If it’s being loved or hurt. That is exactly what happened to Rachel and George Dixon. They put their baby girl down for the night and went to bed like always. They
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like Bette Lee's books. And this one was no exception. Her subject matter was a bit darker in this one, the abduction of a baby from her home, her crib. My heart broke for the parents of little Emmy. I burned with indignation at the abductor, wanting justice. Well written (as always) and very compelling. Plenty of heartbreak moments and outright blubbing. I'm just not sure about the ending. Would it really be that easy? Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the free ARC. ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
I haven’t cried over a book like this in years! From the moment Rachel Dixon discovers her baby Emily is gone the tears were flowing. This story pulled at my heartstrings for all three women, but also for Emily! These mothers struggled with such painful decisions, and the love, compassion and forgiveness was just so heartwarming. I was truly touched by the relationships developed amongst all these characters. I especially loved Mama Dixon and the unconditional love and caring way she helped Rach ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The mantra of this beautiful heart-filled novel is "If you believe, prayers can come true."
Bette Lee Crosby has an amazing ability to pull my heart right into the pages of her stories. This book did just that!
An awful thunder storm, in the middle of the night. Her Mom and Dad sleeping in the next room, and Emily is abducted and just gone!
How do you go on as parents who lose their only child? Do you ever forget or stop caring and thinking about that precious baby? Do your prayers change?
How d
Susan Peterson
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My favorite book by Bette Lee Crosby! Emily, Gone is a heartbreaking bit also heartwarming story. Three women—three mothers and one little girl whose lives are forever changed in an instant of grief and impulse. This poignant story is written with warmth and compassion, a story that will tug at your heartstrings.
Anna at A Wondrous Bookshelf
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, arc
The book starts forty-seven years ago in the small, fictional town of Hesterville, GA, where a music festival akin to Woodstock is about to take place at Harold Baker’s farm. The townspeople, apprehensive about the festival and the type of audience it will attract, try to prevent the festival from happening to no avail.

The Dixons live close to the farm where the festival is taking place. Rachel, George and poor baby Emily have endured several nights of loud music and very little sleep. On the la
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, this was so good and not what I expected! Reading the synopsis, I thought I kind of thought "Okay, I know what's going to happen." but I was wrong. The story was so much richer and involved than I expected, and kept me reading to find out what was going to happen next. The characters were well-drawn and had real emotions and feelings.
Thank you Bette Lee Crosby for giving me this book. It's the first of yours I have read, but will be reading more.
Jan 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: worth-reading
This novel was a bit far fetched for my liking ...
Bette Crosby writes beautiful, thoughtful and imaginative books. There is no doubt about that. I'm proud to be committed to reading each and every book she writes. "Emily, Gone" is no exception.

Yes, there's a however coming....I miss the books this author has written previously. "Emily, Gone" is excellent. Bette provides a beautiful story, full of feeling and amazing details. She is, at heart, a true storyteller. But, personally, I have grown tired of reading about child kidnappings and the pain
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USA Today Bestselling and Award-winning novelist Bette Lee Crosby's books are "Well-crafted storytelling populated by memorable characters caught up in equally memorable circumstances." - Midwest Book Review

The Seattle Post Intelligencer says Crosby's writing is, "A quirky mix of Southern flair, serious thoughts about important things in life and madcap adventures."

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