Digital Reads Reviews

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My review 

This was my first book by Lisa Jewell and I am so angry at the lack of research done in this book by the writer and her team.

The story of a child suddenly gone missing is always eye catching and such books are on trend too – this is not why I am angry

Ellie on the way to library disappears and is not found for 10 years till some traces are found. Her mother Laurel does not give up searching for her ever. Ultimately due to evidence found, she finds some sort of closure regarding her lost daughter. She soon meets a man whose daughter Poppy looks just like her daughter Ellie. What’s the connection between the two? Who is Poppy?  Where is Ellie? 

This is the gist of the story. And the author Lisa Jewell has revolved all the characters around this plot. The book, at the beginning itself, tells us the mystery behind Ellie’s disappearance. So there is no further intrigue, just the dots getting connected together.

The book on the whole is written well with its usual suspects and story line. Laurel and Ellie have undergone great trials and tribulations during this phase till both achieve some kind of freedom and their story is well depicted by Lisa Jewell.

There are various characters who are an eclectic colorful group who make up the main character’s family but the author has not gone in depth into their stories. This book revolves around 5 characters the mom Laurel, her daughter Ellie, the kidnapper, the new man Floyd, his daughter Poppy. The entire story is a fast read with a good pace – this is not why I am angry

Spoiler alert

The main reason I am angry

I didn’t like how artificial insemination was shown, almost trivializing the work of doctors. One article written on the net is not research. Creative fiction has been used with a blatant hand and I didn’t like it. A woman who is not trained in this technique, who is not a medical professional should not perform this procedure, especially a psychotic math tutor.

I am amazed that a well known writer along her team of editors and publisher could not see this fact. In fact in the acknowledgement, this lopsided solution of immaculate conception has been called a bizarre radical solution to the plot, making a mockery of the medical procedure and doctors and nurses who work hard for the couple who are trying for a kid. 

I read this book with my eyebrows raised and eyes shocked- really, is this how babies are conceived artificially, by magic mayhap?? 

I received this ARC from NetGalley and publisher and this is my honest and unbiased opinion

My rating : 2.5 stars

About the Author 

Lisa Jewell had always planned to write her first book when she was fifty. In fact she wrote it when she was twenty-seven and had just been made redundant from her job as a secretary. Fourteen bestselling novels later, she lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Lisa writes every day in a local café where she can drink coffee, people-watch and, without access to the internet, actually get some work done . . .
Book blurb 

Ten years on, Laurel has never given up hope of finding Ellie. And then she meets a charming and charismatic stranger who sweeps her off her feet. But what really takes her breath away is when she meets his nine-year-old daughter.


Because his daughter is the image of Ellie.

Now all those unanswered questions that have haunted Laurel come flooding back.


What really happened to Ellie? And who still has secrets to hide?

Product Details 

Publication date : 27th July 2017

Publisher : Cornerstone Digital

Language : English

Available on Amazon 










         Missing child story


38 Responses

    1. This was a bit too much. Spoilers mentioned… I know how much couples go through to get a child and to put this so casually especially a non medical person doing it without training was a bit too much for me. Getting sperm off internet, such sperms don’t survive. I don’t even want to go there. The whole thing was not explained properly overnight child becomes pregnant. Very strange

  1. Buying semen off the internet is common practise. The “turkey baster” method of amateur artificial insemination happens. It may not always be successful but it can work. Clearly Noelle was lucky that it worked first time but why not? I don’t really understand exactly what has made you so angry about this aspect of the story? Also the radical suggestion offered by my editor and referred to in my acknowledgments had nothing to do with Ellie’s pregnancy. It was to do with the final chapters and the ending.

    1. Yes mam but it’s a medical procedure has to be done in a medical set up and it doesn’t happen overnight. The eggs have to be given hormones according to the follicular studies done via sonography. It takes a lot of time and energy out of a woman. In this, it wasn’t shown. Overnight pregnant especially with this technique is not possible. As you said it is a fiction. As a doctor, such procedures done at home causes complications for women including infections. I would have been ok if you had shown that the kidnapper had medical training. She is a math tutor. Getting sperm off internet may the in thing abroad but ask the doctors who work hard and ask the women who are in that positions for 45 minutes tilted vulnerable. This is a medical procedure not to be taken lightly and does not happen overnight. That’s why I couldn’t believe your team did not do research.

  2. Forensic sciences and forensic anthropology can also make out if the bones found had been fractured antemortem or post mortem according to newer studies.

  3. As a general information to all, sperms bought off internet has to be checked for infectious diseases, the sperms also has to be washed and concentrated before injecting. This should be ideally done in a medical set up to prevent infections, sperms have done to transferred into the woman at the correct time when the follicular studies show the egg in the fallopian tube and the pipette which transmits the sperm has to be introduced into the cervix in the artificial insemination and into the uterus if the woman is going for intrauterine insemination. This is a medical procedure.

    1. I liked your book I enjoyed it too I was waiting eagerly to know how the child became pregnant and then the solution shown put me off. I have no issues with fiction but please tell me just a slight modification would have maintained the truth for all the woman who are trying this technique at home as per the article and given the bit of twist to the story.
      The hymen has a tiny hole very difficult for a math tutor to get it right. A math tutor with a bit of medical experience would have made it believable that a conniving woman can do this.

  4. Fair enough, as you said, anything is possible in this age of internet. But I couldn’t believe this in a book of yours, where just slight modifications could have made it believable. As a layman, I suppose people do anything but as a doctor, I wish fiction comes with a bit of reality.
    I did read your article, and one article does not make it a research especially when you have been with your friend in the hospital. Doctors work hard to help women.

  5. I’m glad you enjoyed the book Shalini and I’m sorry that the lack of detail in the story surrounding Ellie’s artificial insemination put you off it. I think because the story was being related by Noelle to the reader in the first person, it was told as she wanted to tell it. She did not deem it necessary to explain exactly what she’d done or how she’d done it. She glossed over it. It was never intended to be taken as a guide to amateur artificial insemination. There’s plenty of information available for that on the internet. I have enjoyed our conversation although we may not have reached a mutual understanding! All the best and enjoy your evening. Lisa.

    1. As I said I enjoyed your book, I just wanted it to be slightly believable. And I would always read your books. Noelle was too erratic for me to believe that she had the capability to do something like that. A writer as esteemed as you are, I am pretty sure could have found alternate ways to show the same twist. Also my one review does not a book make or break. I think including you only 2 people read my review. But i want more from your books.
      You are a good writer, this was my first book. I will get to your other books. Thank you for the conversation. As a doctor, I have seen women longing for a kid and AI not happening. I was probably too close to your book. Thank you for being such a gracious human and a writer.
      Good night.

  6. Mistress Shalini, I see nothing at all wrong or inappropriate with your comments or opinions. Your blog is all about reviewing books and assessing the good/bad points of those books for your followers. I find your opinions to be spot on and have no qualms about how you handled this review in particular. Good Job Ms. Shalini, the Book review Queen.

  7. I have not insulted her or anyone. As you said it’s my blog and it’s my review. I am doctor myself and have been for 20 years. If I don’t like something, if the book is not researched well, and I am put off by it. I would say it. And I said ask me before you pass judgment if I have insulted. Ms. Lisa did not take it as an insult. She knew what point I am making and she understood as per the comments section. I know authors. I work with a lot of them. The blog is a review where I review it as per I see it. It doesn’t say I would sing praises for every author. And I did tell her what would have worked for me. As you said you are a nurse and this low tech process works. Similarly I told the author a psychotic math tutor with no medical cannot do it. It doesn’t work for me as simple as that. As a doctor, I didn’t like the way she wrote the book when 3 lines could have made the story believable. The author understood that. If you have read the review it had both good points and bad points. It was not just anger. And I critiqued the work not the author. Just saying!!

  8. I don’t insult any human being by my words. I critique their work, that’s it. I can only tell what I like and what I don’t like. And I didn’t like the way this part of the story was written. And I said it. I don’t tell people what to feel or write so on their comment section. It’s individualized. I do not like hurting anyone but as I said I am reviewing the work not the author.

  9. I agree with you! How ridiculous. Also, it makes women who have lost babies/ had miscarriages the villain again – like that terrible Eastenders baby swap story.

    1. Thank you so much. I was in the minority about my review. Got blasted by the author and her friend.. Thank you for your kind words. Much appreciated

  10. I have read other books by Lisa Jewell and I enjoyed them very much. Then She Was Gone was such a disappointment for me, as well. It was not plausible. I found the whole thing completely unbelievable and it made me lose a little respect for the author. I am planning to read her next book, because I LOVED The Girls in the Garden and I Found You and The House We Grew Up In, so I am hoping that her next book is better.

    1. Omg omg… I thought so too. And I got thoroughly bashed up here in the comments by the author and her friend. Other comments by them are deleted.
      Everyone has raved about this book.
      I was a newbie, only the author and I read the review. They wanted me to remove it. I still stand by it…

  11. If you order internet sperms from an unknown donor, it is not tested for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. So it is better AI or IUI is done after complete check up. So trust me I think I am pretty well informed.

    1. I have only one question – this is my blog, my review, my views. So why are you commenting here, if you didn’t like what I said. I know how I practice and I know my views. So why are you here on my blog?

    2. As far as I know, everyone has an opinion, and if the author agreed with me on my points,why are you attacking me on my review on my blog for a book which is a year old?

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