She’s Not There

By Joy Fielding

4 out of 5 stars

Hunter and Caroline Shipley are heading to Mexico with their two young daughters for their anniversary. Hunter surprises Caroline with some friends there as well. As much as Caroline was hoping they would be alone and rekindle their marriage, she knows he’s been cheating on her, she’s happy to have her best friend Peggy and her husband, her brother and his wife (though their relationship is rather strained) and another couple of friends who Caroline could do without. When they are told that their babysitter was canceled for the evening, Hunter tells Caroline that they can leave the girls in the room and check on them every half hour. She’s very reluctant but finally agrees and everything seems fine, until they head back to the room at 10 and their infant daughter Samantha is missing.

For 15 years, Caroline has dealt with everyone thinking they killed their daughter. She dealt with losing jobs, divorce and Hunter’s remarriage, crackpot calls and possible sightings. She also has a very contentious relationship with her older daughter Michelle and a very contentious relationship with her mother, who obviously favors her brother. And then she gets a call from a girl named Lili. Lili thinks she might be Samantha and then our story unfolds.

There are lots of probably not very plausible things in this book but who the heck cares?! I was so drawn into the mystery of Lili being Samantha or not. I was so drawn into wanting Michelle and Caroline to finally realize how much they both loved each other and let go of the past. I was so drawn into Caroline waking up and seeing what a tough woman she really was that I just didn’t care about anything else. Part way through the book, I figured out the mystery of Samantha’s disappearance and that was perfectly fine. The fun was in getting to the satisfying conclusion.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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