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Publisher's Summary

A beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past vanishes while hiking, leaving her family to piece together her secrets, in this keenly observed novel for fans of Emma Straub and Maria Semple - from the best-selling author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything.

©2017 Janelle Brown (P)2017 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book!

Any additional comments?

I read the mixed reviews on this book and thought i would take a chance, I have to say I am really glad I did! I ended up really liking these characters, and i found myself wanting to listen more. Some parts although unrealistic weaved a story of how a you can never really know someone and how some people will only show you parts of themselves. There is no good or bad, just Human imperfection. No spoilers here, but i loved that there was no questions left unanswered in the end ... the author really ties everything up nicely so that there is no guessing. Two thumbs up from me!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really sucked me in...

I like this author, she is honest and writes from a personal place which brings authenticity to her characters and settings.
First of all this is a unique perspective, like a twist of Rebecca. We care so much about a person whose presence is so powerful and magnetic yet we learn about her fascinating identity in a secondary way. I loved this.

There is something about the people in this book that make you want to keep reading, you fall in love with them Before the story gets really interesting.

So I do tend to try and guess the twist or ending when I'm watching movies or reading and this one was well written. There were several detective moments where I had to piece together the facts and determine red herrings- it was fun.

This was a double dipper for me, I missed the setting and the people. They're well written. Janelle brown is not a fluff writer, she's sophisticated and interesting as are the women she writes about. I wanted more.

The narrator is nice, she does Olive well and has that weird guttural "male" voice but it's ok.

The ending...you're feelings about it will depend on how well rounded the experience of this book will be. I needed some time to think it over, all of it. No spoilers here!

Some people will relate to this story better than others, honestly probably upper mid class women in there 30s/40s and that's okay. Enjoy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Worth passing over

This book had a lot of potential to be excellent. I chose it due to the high number of positive reviews here on Audible but realized, around chapter 13 when it was going down the toilet, that almost all were written by individuals who'd received it free for their review (which tends to push people towards positivity whether they mean to or not). In a similar vein to Gone Girl, this book turns what appears to be a happy story on its head, revealing a selfish woman who's spent her entire life manipulating people. It was, however, not nearly as compelling or exciting as Gone Girl (nor insane), and the difference of the main character having a daughter made me hate her a little more. Lie to your husband with an abnormally elaborate plan to ruin his life, you're a sociopath; lie to your child and pull away from her, you're just cruel.

The end was feeling a little stronger, especially around chapter 17, and I thought the book might redeem itself (that she'd been in contact with her first child whom she'd placed for adoption rather than having an extramarital affair felt a little cushier, a little easier to swallow), there was then a horrible epilogue that tied everything up far too neatly and answered what I believe should have ultimately been left as unanswered questions. They were implied already, and it felt too forced.

There are several other thrillers out there that are far better written, with less contrived plot lines and more desirable characters, so I'd skip this one altogether.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Very Disappointing .

Didn't like any of the characters. Overly precise diction of the narrator was annoying. The main character was hateful. Yuk.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Wonderful Story!

A wonderful debut novel. Can't wait to hear from this author again!--Thanks Janelle!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

excellent book

The twists and turns in this book are great, keeps you guessing till literally the very end!!!!! A must read!!!!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Unique Story

I enjoyed the story very much. Lots of twist, however I found Tavia Gilberts voice shrill and unpleasant to hear.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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fascinating concept and characters!<br />

Tavia does a wonderful job as usual on an excellent story that kept you guessing until the last paragraph!

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Great story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book The storyline kept me interested and at times on the edge of my seat in the car! Very well written and well narrated

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Good story

Great story that kept me totally engaged. I thought the recording was below par with it sounding like a less than acceptable recording.