“The Night She Disappeared” by Lisa Jewell was a truly suspenseful read! Tallulah, 19, mother to baby Noah, and her boyfriend Zach of the same age van“The Night She Disappeared” by Lisa Jewell was a truly suspenseful read! Tallulah, 19, mother to baby Noah, and her boyfriend Zach of the same age vanish without a trace. Left behind is Tallulah’s mother Kim who takes care of Noah.
In three narrated time strands we get to better understand what happened in the eponymous night - in one from Tallulah’s point of view, in another from that of her mother Kim who cannot rest until her child is at least found and in the final strand we get to accompany mystery writer Sophie who literally unearths the key to the entire mystery…
A mansion with a secret tunnel, a boarding school for “difficult” pupils, a new head teacher, an illustrious but shady prominent family - what could possibly go wrong in a novel with these ingredients!?
And, in fact, almost nothing does: Every character feels real and convincing - up to and including the dog. The atmosphere shifts between village peace and harmony, the fore-boding and - in the present time - uninhabited mansion as well as Sophie’s curiosity when she digs deeper into the mystery; they all work very well and made this book into one I didn’t want to put down.
There are a few loose ends, though, which I think would have been nice to get closure on - from the burnt odour in Sophie’s cottage which we hear about several times but never get to the bottom of to the unresolved relationships issues between Sophie and Shaun to, last but not least, the strange behaviour of Megs, Zach’s mother.
All in all, a suspenseful mystery. Four out of five stars.
After landing her car in the ditch, Alexis Montgomery is “rescued” by Daniel Grant and introduced to the small rural town of Wakan. Alexis, 37, is a hAfter landing her car in the ditch, Alexis Montgomery is “rescued” by Daniel Grant and introduced to the small rural town of Wakan. Alexis, 37, is a hot-shot emergency room physician from a dynasty of physicians who have traditionally been closely linked to the hospital at which Alexis herself works.
Daniel, 28, on the other hand is from a founding family of Wakan and his family has always lived there and has risen to very local prominence. He runs a B&B in his ancestral home and lives in and above the mansion’s garage with his dog and the carpentry pieces he works on as a hobby.
Of course, after meeting each other, both Alexis and Daniel fall in love with each other and what follows is a nice ride through a plethora of large and small problems before the inevitable happy end. So far, so good…
Sadly, there are a few issues: From the very beginning, Alexis finds issue after issue with actually having a real committed relationship with Daniel - the distance (he’s a two-hour ride from where she lives), the age gap (nine years… Pfft!), the end of her previous relationship three months earlier and, worst of all, the economic difference between them which she turns into a “caste system”...
»Only this time I’d been born too soon and into a different level of a caste system that he couldn’t scale. It made me a little sad.«
A caste system? That Daniel couldn’t scale? That’s the mindset of someone I’d really strongly dislike. This is reinforced by two of Alexis’ girlfriends who are even worse than that.
I do get Abby Jimenez does this to be able to show a changed and rehabilitated Alexis in the great finale but I found myself strongly annoyed and put off by Alexis constantly making excuses why her relationship with Daniel is doomed anyway.
My second major gripe is Alexis behaving like she’s in her early twenties at best instead of being 37:
»I’d get invited to holidays and celebrations with parents who wouldn’t have him, so he couldn’t come.«
So because her retired parents from whom she’s economically completely independent disapprove of having a relationship with someone “below” their “social sphere” Alexis actually wants to break things off with Daniel?
Right now, I’m 46. I’ve been married for pretty much exactly half my life to the woman I love. Of whom my parents didn’t approve for a decade or so. Who happened to live in another country. I married her regardless, we have three adult children now.
I was infuriated by what my parents thought but, ultimately, I didn’t care. I was prepared to cut them out of my life if I had to. Maybe you feel like Alexis does…
»Or if my dad thinks I’m a complete waste of his DNA? I’m already the weakest link in Montgomery history. I have to give a fuck. I have no choice.”«
You do not have to give a fuck. You do have a choice. You can decide to lead a happy life with whomever you love - regardless of age, gender, social “standing”, etc.. Yes, you can.
»They made me feel like crap, actually.«
If someone makes you feel like that, cut them out. Regardless of who they are. Even if they are your parents. It’s not worth it and toxic people rarely change enough…
These issues somewhat impaired my enjoyment of “Part of Your World” but all in all it was still a good, entertaining romance.