Then She Was Gone Then She Was Gone discussion


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Plot holes

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Dalene Mactier In enjoyed the book, but there are a couple of nagging plot holes
Why did the police not look at Ellie's diaries? Surely they would have combed through all of that.
I found the note from Ellie a litte too tidy. After the birth she was desperately ill with various infections. Don't quite see here writing a tidy little note and scheme to hide it?

Any other plot holes?


Diane Noelle's parents were expecting her and Poppy to arrive. They had bought a crib, etc. When she didn't show up, they just accepted she had changed her mind and done a runner? They had no interest in seeing their grandchild? I know they had been estranged, but they cared enough to prepare a place in their home.


Anne Williams Perhaps over the years they had become used to Noelle's unpredictable behaviour...


message 4: by LCA (new) - rated it 4 stars

LCA Dalene wrote: "In enjoyed the book, but there are a couple of nagging plot holes
Why did the police not look at Ellie's diaries? Surely they would have combed through all of that.
I found the note from Ellie a li..."


Yes, thank you for expressing so well what I couldn't quite put my finger on- the note was too 'tidy' and too....calm? I don't know which word to use. I would expect a note like that to read "Please help me, please call the police, my name is Ellie Mack and I'm being held prisoner...."

And even though I quite liked this book overall- and some parts were quite poignant, esp from Ellie's and Laurel's views- I also found the way things played out with Floyd rather unsatisfactory, it's like his character was forcibly made to fit the ending.


Sarah Degler I'm very confused as to why Laurel took Poppy to meet Noelle's family (at the time, thinking it was Poppy's family). Was this rationalized somewhere in the book or did I miss something? Also I couldn't believe how the author downplayed it when Laurel found the newspaper clippings in Floyd's house. She had no initial reaction!


Nicole Sarah wrote: "I'm very confused as to why Laurel took Poppy to meet Noelle's family (at the time, thinking it was Poppy's family). Was this rationalized somewhere in the book or did I miss something? Also I coul..."

I think it was her way in to get the family to open up more about what happened to Noelle in the first place. She was still trying to figure out what she had to do with everything. ( just going off of memory)


ElleDee I’m willing to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy the book. It was really fantastic.

But, I do think it’s odd that the police and her parents wouldn’t have investigated EVERYONE Ellie had contact with in the weeks before her death. The Math tutor is weird and they would have seen that she was weird. Then they would have seen how close the math tutor lived relative to her last seen position and they could have put it together.

It’s also strange that the Math tutor just let her die. That seems so sloppy for shat was otherwise a clever woman.

Also, Floyd, he’s an interesting guy. He’s actually a good guy. He’s just weird. On the spectrum. I think Blue read him wrong- he did have a false energy, he also had some darkness considering he was a murderer, but he did love Poppy. He’s flawed, very strange, but good. Not great, but good.


Regina Don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy this book. But it seemed like a lot of the material was an after thought, or the author didn't know how to finish her ideas. I numbered them so it's a little easier to see my thoughts.

1) So Noelle had this big plan to capture Ellie, there was so much build up, and then she just...let her die? I understand that's the point of the book, Ellie is dead, but I expected more reasoning behind it.

2) How exactly did Noelle get her pregnant? I understand she "took sperm from some random guy" but I must have missed the part where Ellie was passed out enough for her to do this. There wasn't much explanation as to how it happened.

3) I feel like the author didn't know what to do with Floyd after the truth was discovered, so she just made him run away. I understand Poppy wasn't ACTUALLY his daughter, but what father just leaves their daughter like that? At least without a good reason.

4) The whole police investigation was spotty. Clearly, they didn't do a good job. But it seemed...unfinished. I understand part of the book was supposed to have twists and turns, thus the investigation could not have gone too deep. But with a book like this, I would have expected more...proof? More proof that kept us thinking that things happened one way, so when the truth was revealed it was more shocking.

5) The abduction of Ellie seemed like it was all thrown together with no real binding material. I get it, Noelle is supposed to be a crazy lady. But it seemed like a bunch of events were just thrown in and mashed together. For example, she abducted her, and told her of this "big plan". Then she got her hamsters? Then she got her pregnant? Then she was pampering her, bringing her gifts, then she starved her? And then I feel like the author wasn't sure how to end it, so she just said "Noelle locked the door and didn't go back for a long long time."

I don't want to sound like I am bashing this book, because I'm not. I did like the character development, especially between Ellie's mom and dad as it related to myself and my experiences. I think all the characters were represented well. I do think the plot has a lot of potential, I just don't feel it was executed very well. Please let me know what you guys think!


Alia B Regina wrote: "Don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy this book. But it seemed like a lot of the material was an after thought, or the author didn't know how to finish her ideas. I numbered them so it's a little ..."

You have a pretty good point. I LOVED this book, but some parts of it were a little confusing.
Apparently, Noelle drugged Ellie's food or something, and when she passed out, she performed some kind of "procedure" to impregnate Ellie. I guess she got REALLY lucky, because Ellie got pregnant on the first shot. But my question is: why Ellie? Is it because Noelle saw how happy she was with Theo? Because she referred to them as a golden couple multiple times.


Julie You have a pretty good point. I LOVED this book, but some parts of it were a little confusing.
Apparently, Noelle drugged Ellie's food or something, and when she passed out, she performed some kind of "procedure" to impregnate Ellie. I guess she got REALLY lucky, because Ellie got pregnant on the first shot. But my question is: why Ellie? Is it because Noelle saw how happy she was with Theo? Because she referred to them as a golden couple multiple times.


I totally agree with this 100%, not enough details and just seemed like random events thrown in


message 11: by Sophia (last edited Jun 13, 2020 07:47AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sophia Schmid *obviuosly contains spoliers*

Yes I have similar feelings about the plot as you guys have...

Especially the letter / note from Ellie, it was just so unnecessary. The way it was written - as you said "tidy" - seemed made up and was just not bothering me at all. it didn't do anything to the story in my opinion. It just made the ending boring.

The ending with Floyd was as well not really smooth in line with the first part of the book. In his explanation and "giving Poppy back" he ends as a "did mistakes but has good intentions guy". The way it's executed is a bit too flat i think. I mean it seems as the author had other ideas intentionally, didn't it? Why would the aura be so dark when he is a "not so bad guy"? I would give a character a really dark aura when he is intrinsically bad and mean and dark, with a lot of secrets and irrational or hurtful intentions. Someone who is doing illegal/bad things with good intentions would not have an alarming aura. So it seems that the author originally planned to make him a bad guy and than changed the original idea a bit to make the story come together.

And then... what's the matter with Theo? What was the point in making him match up with the sister? And I can't be the only one who figured it out when the bouquet came with the letter "-T"? So when Laurel saw them togehter like half a book later it was like "finally Lauren you get it as well". But not in an exciting way, more like "so she now gets it - and now please give me the reason and the story behind why the two are a couple".
And when Noelle was so obsessed with the golden couple Ellie and Theo, i was sure she would have made the baby with Theos sperm. And I was kinda excited how she would work it out to get his sperm and get Ellie pregnant with it. I thought for a moment thats maybe why he is in the picture again with the sister. But it just wasn't the case at all. The Poppy's father thing was a bit too random in my opinion. "bought the sperm and made Ellie unconcious - the rest is for your imagination"


Nevertheless it's not a bad book. The general plot idea is pretty interessting - There are just a lot of ideas which are not perfectly executed and did not all come together in the end.


Lauren Nolan I really liked this book, too, but have issues with Floyd's character as well and am also wondering why we have to know that Hanna and Theo are dating. Seems like the Hanna and Theo subplot never got played out.
And Floyd not only runs away but also kills himself! And as someone else said, why did Blue read his aura as being dark and evil when he turns out to be a decent person (minus the accidental homicide). And Laurel's reaction to the newspaper clippings was not believable.
All of it was a bit far fetched but still a really enjoyable book. But you can't think too hard on it or it all starts to seem really unbelievable. Suspension of belief is definitely needed.
It did feel like the author had several ideas in mind that she couldn't tie into the story's ending (i.e. Hanna and Theo, Floyd's dark aura, the hamsters, and even Paul and Bonnie-- why were we told so much about them?).


Megan Alia wrote: "Regina wrote: "Don't get me wrong, I really did enjoy this book. But it seemed like a lot of the material was an after thought, or the author didn't know how to finish her ideas. I numbered them so..."
I wonder if she somehow put sperm on Ellies tampons, which she says she rationed out?


Destiny Mampourian Diane wrote: "Noelle's parents were expecting her and Poppy to arrive. They had bought a crib, etc. When she didn't show up, they just accepted she had changed her mind and done a runner? They had no interest in..."

Good point!! I was wondering the same. Why didnt they investigate more?


message 15: by Jess (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jess Penhallow Yes the inpregnation on the first try without any specialist equipment (as far as I could tell) was pretty farfetched.

Also Floyd's ending was unsatisfying. Did he even get the chance to say goodbye to SJ?


message 16: by Jame (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jame My biggest question was why did Floyd have to kill himself when he did something terrible by accident and just abandon his daughter? But then I read the “alternative ending” the original ending that Jewell had envisioned and it made more sense. Everything such as the bad aura he appeared to have made more sense. Apparently he was supposed to have found Ellie alive but then kept her for another year or so while he got to know Laurel. This would have explained the bad aura and why he killed himself and felt so sorry to Laurel. It’s as if Jewell changed the ending but not the other plot points that linked to it.


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