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I slowly get back into my reading-rhythm and already finished my second book in English! It’s Good As Gone by Amy Gentry. A German magazine presented it in their March issue and I liked the story – so I had to buy the book. But what is it about?
Eight years ago: Julie, 13 years old, was kidnapped in her own home. Witness of the crime: her younger sister Jane who hid in the closet and watched Julie and the man through the open door. Hours later, she was brave enough to get out and tell her parents. But it’s too late: They never found Julie. But then, the miracle happens: A girl appears at the Whitacker’s door step and says she would be Julie! But her mom Anna is not so sure if this girl really is her daughter and then there is someone who confirms her doubts. If this isn’t Julie: Who is she? And what does she want from the family?
I loved the book! It’s really good. It’s not exactly thrilling but you’re becoming curious with every page you read, so I stayed awake quite long every night. The start of the story is already intense: Jane tells us how she had to watch Julie’s kidnapping. Then the narrator switches and Anna tells us the story in the present and about Julie’s sudden appearance. And we get to know what happened to her, of course: She was sold by the kidnapper and abused for sex. But is this really true?
Anna has some doubts and a private investigator tells her some interesting fact about „Julie“, the investigations in the past and what he thinks really happened. We, the readers, also get to know „Julie’s“ perspective and she has a lot of names – is this the sign that she is not the real one? She starts telling her story in the present until the day of the alleged kidnapping. And she calls her parents by their first names and not Mom and Dad. Another sign? I actually didn’t like the retrospects that much as they said nothing at all who this girl is and I’d rather stayed in the present to get to know it. But after I read half of the book, I thought I knew how the story might end and then it was really interesting to read how Amy Gentry will reveal it in the end.
The ending is quite thrilling on the one side, but on the other side also a bit dull. Gentry built up the tension but it dropped immediately really fast after a special occasion. Well, something was missing and I can’t even tell, what exactly. And the revelation, if Julie is Julie or someone else was quite lame as well. There was drama but not enough in my opinion.
You get to know all characters really well except Anna’s husband Tom, who is always in the back even though he is important for his children. The focus is, of course, on Julie and Anna, but also a bit on Jane who had to suffer a lot after the kidnapping. Her mom never said it was her fault that Julie disappeared but she made Jane feel like it was. Anna started drinking and was never really interested in Jane after that incident. Anna regrets this later but their relationship is still not the best. Sure, you have to understand Anna and that she was devastated after Julies kidnapping, but honestly: What should Jane have done? The kidnapper had a knife, should she have risked Julie or herself getting killed?
I really liked the book and if you like thriller, just have a look at Good As Gone!
Have you already read the book? Do you like the story and the revelation at the end?