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Mystery Book Club - Past Titles: Aug. 2023

Titles from the Mystery Book Club at the Islington Branch *No longer an active club*

"Then She Was Gone" by Lisa Jewell

  1. The novel is told from multiple perspectives and alternating timelines. How did this narrative structure affect your reading experience? Did it enhance the suspense and mystery of the story?
  2. Characters in the book grapple with various forms of loss, grief, and trauma. Discuss how these themes are portrayed throughout the novel and how they shape the characters' actions and decisions.
  3. The relationship between Laurel and her daughter Ellie is a significant focus of the story. How does their bond evolve, and what impact does Ellie's disappearance have on Laurel as a mother and as an individual?
  4. Lisa Jewell delves into the psychological aspects of some characters, particularly Floyd and Noelle. How does the author handle the portrayal of these complex and troubled individuals? Were you able to empathize with any of them?
  5. "Then She Was Gone" explores the impact of secrets and lies on relationships. Discuss the different secrets kept by characters in the book and how they contribute to the overall plot.
  6. Ellie's abduction is a central mystery in the novel. Were you able to predict the outcome of the story and the truth behind her disappearance? How did the book's twists and revelations affect your understanding of the events?
  7. The book explores the idea of moving on and rebuilding life after tragedy. How do different characters cope with loss and the weight of the past? Discuss their individual journeys toward healing and redemption.
  8. Laurel's relationship with Floyd is complicated and raises ethical questions. How did you feel about their dynamic and the choices they made? Do you think they could have found happiness in a different way?
  9. Lisa Jewell introduces various secondary characters with their own subplots and storylines. Which secondary character's journey resonated with you the most, and why?
  10. The book addresses themes of forgiveness and redemption. In your opinion, which characters were able to find redemption, and how did they achieve it?
  11. The ending of the novel ties up the major plotlines. Were you satisfied with the resolution of the story? Why or why not?
  12. How does the setting of the book, particularly the eerie house on the street, contribute to the overall atmosphere and tone of the story?
  13. "Then She Was Gone" explores the impact of family dynamics on individuals. Discuss how family relationships and upbringing play a role in shaping the characters' personalities and actions.
  14. What do you think the book suggests about the nature of human relationships and the choices we make that can alter the course of our lives?
  • Lisa Jewell was born on July 19, 1968, in London, England. She grew up in a creative and artistic family, with her mother working as a secretary and her father as a textile agent. From a young age, Lisa developed a passion for writing and storytelling.
  • After completing her education, Lisa began her writing career in the 1990s. Her early works were light-hearted and humorous novels that catered to a young adult audience. Some of her early works include "Ralph's Party" (1999) and "Thirtynothing" (2000), which gained popularity and earned her a dedicated fan base.
  • However, it was with her transition to psychological thrillers and domestic dramas that Lisa Jewell achieved significant success and critical acclaim. One of her most successful novels was "The House We Grew Up In" (2013), a family drama exploring the complexities of relationships and secrets hidden within a seemingly perfect family.
  • In subsequent years, Lisa continued to publish gripping novels that delved into themes of family dynamics, mystery, and human relationships. Some of her other notable works include "The Girls" (2015), "I Found You" (2016), "Then She Was Gone" (2017), "Watching You" (2018), and "The Family Upstairs" (2019).
  • Her writing style is characterized by well-drawn characters, intricate plots, and compelling narratives that keep readers hooked until the very end. Lisa Jewell's ability to blend domestic drama with suspenseful elements has made her a beloved author in the thriller and mystery genres.
  • Throughout her career, Lisa has received widespread praise from readers and critics alike, and her books have become international bestsellers. Her writing has earned her a dedicated following and cemented her status as a prominent author in contemporary fiction.
  • As an author, Lisa Jewell continues to write and inspire readers with her unique storytelling. 


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