About the Book
Eight years ago, thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night.
In the years since, her family have papered over the cracks of their grief – while hoping against hope that Julie is still alive.
And then, one night, the doorbell rings.
I was thrilled when I was offered a copy of Good as Gone to review for the blog tour as it sounded like such a gripping read, and I have to say that I wasn’t disappointed. I read this in one sitting as I just got lost in the novel for an entire afternoon!
I’m always intrigued by novels where someone has gone missing and then seemingly returns years later. It’s one of those things that you can barely even imagine and yet it has happened in real life too. In this novel I was immediately curious as to where Julie had been, and if this even really was Julie that had come back. I would imagine that if your child had been missing for all those years and someone who looked just like her came to your door you wouldn’t immediately question if it really was her because you would so badly want it to be. In Good as Gone it felt believable to me that the family accepted Julie back so quickly and didn’t question the situation, but as a reader I was quickly wondering if this really was going to be a happy ending for the family and it really made the book a gripping, rollercoaster of a read that I was so unsure and unsettled by Julie.
As we begin to learn more about Julie and where she might have been in the intervening years and what might have happened to her I found I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the pages, I simply had to know how it was all going to turn out.
My favourite thing about this book was the chapters by all the different people and how each chapter gives a clue and gradually a picture is built up about what has happened. It was great how the reader has much more information than the family and we are there in each setting and trying to understand whether this person was Julie or if that person was, but we also see the family trying to come to terms with what has happened, and they start uncovering secrets that have been held in the intervening years and have to deal with the fallout from that. I found I was trying to put the pieces together from the start and some things I got wrong and others I got right, it was very cleverly written.
I definitely recommend this book – it’s a gripping, absorbing rollercoaster of a thriller that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. Go buy a copy now, you won’t regret it!
I received a copy of this book from HQ Stories in exchange for an honest review.
Exclusive content from Amy Gentry:
What was your inspiration for writing the book? How has working in women’s shelters influenced Julie’s story?
For about a year, I volunteered as an on-call emergency room advocate for victims of sexual assault. When assault victims turned up in the emergency room requesting a forensic exam (aka rape kit), I would dispatch to the hospital to provide in-room advocacy and resources from the shelter. Thus I spent lots of time, often in the middle of the night, with survivors of sexual trauma in the immediate aftermath of their assaults. I was asked by women to sit in the room with them during the forensic exam, even hold their hands. I sat in hospital rooms with students, strippers, mothers, grandmothers, homeless prostitutes, veterans, political campaigners, athletes, you name it. The stories of abused and assaulted women were very real and vivid to me as I wrote the parts of my story that dealt with those topics. I became especially alert to the ways in which victims of these crimes struggle to protect themselves in the wake of trauma, often making choices which might seem to an outsider to be the wrong ones because they may hurt others or lead to the victim herself being retraumatized. Yet I came to understand how important that sense of choice can be for helping victims preserve a sense of agency and personhood that has been violated during the assault. Demanding that victims look or act a certain way, either before or after their assault, is one way we discredit victims and perpetuate rape culture. I also talked to many police and other first responders, and came to understand how flawed and human these professionals are in their own, often biased, responses to sexual assault victims. There is no such thing as a perfect victim, because people behave erratically in the wake of severe trauma; but for some reason we seem to demand perfection of sexual assault victims. This is really the underlying theme I wanted to explore with Good as Gone.
About the Author
Amy Gentry lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two cats. After graduating in 2011 with a PhD in English from the University of Chicago, she began a freelance writing career, writing book reviews, cultural criticism, and, for one strange and wonderful year, a fashion column. She frequently reviews fiction for the Chicago Tribune Printer’s Row Journal, and her writing has appeared in Salon.com, xoJane, The Rumpus, the Austin Chronicle, the Texas Observer, LA Review of Books, Gastronomica, and the Best Food Writing of 2014. GOOD AS GONE, her first thriller, is set in her hometown of Houston, Texas.
Bio taken from the author’s website: amygentryauthor.com
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17 thoughts on “#BookReview: Good as Gone by Amy Gentry @unlandedgentry @HQStories #BlogTour”
Ooh this sounds great, I’m really looking forward to reading it!
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 🙂
That is a really intriguing question! What does happen when people disappear and then come back? What if it’s not the same person? What happens, and what are the consequences? It sounds interesting, so I’m glad you enjoyed it.
This sounds really good! I also really like it when a missing person comes home years later. I wanted to mention a book that offers a different perspective on this but it would be totally spoilerish so I’ll shut up! Anyway, I love the clues and hints and the fact you keep wondering and trying to figure things out and just simply how to react and live with that person around again. Great review!
Thank you 🙂 It was a really good read, it had me hooked all the way through and I’d recommend it. I’m really intrigued about which book you wanted to mention but didn’t want to be spoilerish – will you DM me on twitter? 🙂 x
Just did, ma’am! 😀 xxx
This one sounds really good – and I loved the author interview. She is clearly a fascinating person – thank you for sharing.
Thank you. It was a really good read, I recommend it. I loved the short piece by the author too – it’s always great to have in insight into what inspired an author to write a particular story.
Yes – it’s always fascinating to know what sparks an author to sit down and write the story…
This sounds like it as executed flawlessly in terms of narration! I am very intrigued. I may have to add this one. Wonderful review!
Thank you. It was a really good read and I recommend it. x
This one looks good, nice review Hayley. 🙂
Thank you so much 🙂
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Great post! I bought this book last month but have yet to read it as I’m trying to catch up on ARCs.
Thank you 🙂 I hope you get to read it soon and that you enjoy it as much as I did.
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