Sophie Last Seen

Narrated by: Madeline Mrozek
Length: 10 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (30 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Six years ago, 10-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall. Her mother, Jesse, is left in a self-destructive limbo, haunted by memories of her intense and difficult child, who was obsessed with birds. Trapped in her grief and guilt, Jesse stumbles through her workdays at a bookstore and spends her off hours poring over Sophie’s bird journals or haunting the mall to search for the face of her missing child.

When Star Silverman, Sophie’s best friend, starts working at the bookstore, Jesse is uncomfortable around the sarcastic teen, who is a constant reminder of her daughter. But Star has secrets of her own, and her childhood memories could be the key to solving Sophie’s disappearance.

With help from Star and Kentucky “Tuck” Barnes, a private detective on the trail of another missing girl, Jesse may finally get some closure, one way or the other.

©2018 Marlene Adelstein (P)2019 Marlene Adelstein

Critic Reviews

"A mother's psyche edges toward madness as she tries to solve the puzzle of her daughter's disappearance. A gripping tale of heartbreak and eternal hope." (Beth Hoffman, author of the NYT best seller Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)

"Unique, mysterious, and thoroughly absorbing, Sophie Last Seen is a touching story of love, loss, and survival. I loved it." (Alison Gaylin, USA Today best-selling author of If I Die Tonight

What listeners say about Sophie Last Seen

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A story that will stay with me forever

Jesse is broken. She has been for the last six years, since she lost Sophie, her ten-year-old child, at a shopping mall. Since then she has been looking for clues that could tell her where Sophie could be. Star was Sophie’s best friend, and she is haunted day and night about what might have happened to Sophie if she had kept her promise. Following clues left by Sophie, both women embark on a search for the lost girl, or at least to try to find out what happened to her.

I finished this book last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. I don’t remember the last book that gave me goosebumps like this one did. Sophie Last Seen is a character driven story in which both main characters suffer a deep transformation and grow together after a severe trauma. This is a book about grief, obsessions, but also friendship, and overcoming one’s feelings. There is a before and after, and life will never be the same, but one must learn how to continue living and let go.

This book has spoken directly to me in many ways, and it was so easy to relate to Jesse and Star. I could see myself making the same mistakes and suffering like the. I really felt for them: the anguish of not knowing, the fervent obsession of wanting to believe in something.

I have been following Madeline Mrozek for a while, but I think this time she has overcome herself narrating this book. She has brought the characters to life transmitting their emotions in a way that felt like listening to real people struggling with real problems. Dialogs between Jesse and Star were especially well made, creating the illusion of having two different people interacting. I could clearly hear the difference between both characters, and their style and voices reflected their personality. The differences were subtle but clear, and following their dialogs was easy. The audio production was just perfect.

This is a book that I want to recommend to everyone! It is very well written, with well-thought-out characters, and a moving plot. It is one of those stories that will stay with me forever.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Mothers will identify

Sophie Last Seen was a suspenseful journey with a guilt ridden mother whose child is abducted. The complexities of the characters lend to the believability and realism of the tale. The writer expertly shares the deepest and darkest sides of the characters in the story so we feel we know them and can identity with their pain. I liked how the plot was not predictable and had interesting twists. The narrator gives voice to each and every character with authenticity bringing the story even more to life. She has many challenges as there are so many different characters to voice but she met them all with talent and skill. I particularly liked her ability to switch between characters flawlessly. Her young girl voices were spot on. I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and would recommend it to anyone who appreciates a good suspense.

2 people found this helpful

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Haunting

Jesse is a broken woman, forever lost in the cycle of searching for her lost ten-year-old little girl Sophie. She sees her everywhere. In the tiny bird patterns in shirts and in the walk of every teenage girl that passes her. Star, Sophie’s best friend, also sees her friend everywhere she goes. When both women embark on a journey for answers, they find the horrible truth.

This book was a roller-coaster of raw emotion, exploring the pain and grief of a mother’s loss. The trauma experienced by the main characters bonds them, making them stronger as they must live with the loss of Sophie. Star and Jesse were very easy characters to sympathize with and throughout the story, their vibrant emotions were incredibly well-written. Through and through, this is a very haunting story.

The narrator did an excellent job of weaving the emotions, especially the pain and grief, into each character. Every emotion that she demonstrated was very realistic, adding that extra level to the book which made it all the more impacting.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

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Sophie Last Seen

Wow!This book was a rollercoaster!We all have secrets and take blame for things,even if we know we could not have caused it.Sophie dissapears in a mall.She is 10.Her mom let go of her hand.The story of her family and town is sad but so true.I loved it! Madeline Mrozek was an excellent narrator. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.'

1 person found this helpful

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Not my usual read!

I read this book upon the recommendation of a friend. It’s not my usual style of reading and I set into this book completely expecting to be bored. Boy, was I wrong!

From the beginning I was caught in the journey of fear, remorse, searching for truth when it already existed, and a re-capturing of a life and a joy which had been lost long ago.

Madeline Mrozak’s Performance in the telling of the story was stellar! I felt every emotion, laughed, cried and faced my own memories.

For those people who enjoy an emotional book, and to those who would be stepping out on a limb to read such a book I highly recommend jumping in with both feet! I am so glad that I did!

1 person found this helpful

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Engaging and captivating drama

The story of an unbelievable loss that forever changes the lives of two women and the struggle they go through to pick up the pieces after being in downward spirals for years. Both characters blame themselves for the tragic disappearance of Sophie and are stuck in their depressed and destructive states like flys in amber. A new missing girl leads Sophie's mother and her friend Star to reconnect and try to figure out what really happened to help them cope or move on.

The narration by Madeline Mrozek was great, I thought she completely embodied the two main characters and brings them to life including all of their pain, warmth, and imperfections. The book is a part mystery and part character study, and really shows the long term destruction an event like this can wreak on families and friends. I thought the book greatly succeeds when focused on the two main leads and especially liked their connection as the book progressed. Should be a great read for anyone that is a fan of dramas or mysteries as they intersect here very well.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing Storytelling

Amazing storytelling!
Oh my gosh, this story is so intense. The story of the mother desperately collecting clues of her missing daughter is so heartbreaking. She's longing for her past life with her husband and daughter. And the childhood friend of the missing girl is trying to cope in her own way.

There's so many layers to this story that keeps pulling you in: Earl's, The Book Barn, The Zone, the chicken coop, Gary, Cooper, Star, Barns. Wow!

I highly recommend this book. It's a must read/listen!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Sophie Last Seen

Jesse can't move on from the day her daughter Sophie disappeared. (And really what parent can). This book has some really big feels in it. Distrust, leaves you suspecting almost everyone. Wondering who is crazy, makes you wonder if Jesse has lost it or if she's the only one sane. And Star, Sophie's best friend, is she crazy, still seeing Sophie?I had never thought about how this impacts not just the family but the friends and their families. How Marlene Adelstein brings this out is just perfect and brilliant. Who is lying, someone, somewhere saw something children do not just vanish. Who is lazy, have the police just gotten to lazy to keep looking. And the towns people seem to just feel sorry for the crazy lady aka bird mom of the missing bird girl, yet they also just start avoiding her. When does a whole town just give up on a mom looking or answers. Heartbreak, as secrets are revealed about everyone, your heart can't help but break a bit for them as you see how the dissaperance changes anyone close to the case. Madeline Mrozek does a fantastic job with the narration and bringing this story to life.

1 person found this helpful

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Emotionally exhausting but very good...

I needed a couple of days to get over the book and write this review; the story is haunting, emotionally exhausting and scary as hell, when you think about it - but you can't stop listening...

It's not so much a suspense story as a psychological study of what happens to a woman whose 10-year-old kid vanishes one day from a shopping centre in the split second when her mother turns away... Six years later Jesse, the mother, is still looking for clues, is still looking for her daughter's face in the face of every teenage girl she meets, is still gathering stuff which she thinks Sophie sends her way as signs and which others consider mere rubbish she's been hoarding... And she never loses hope to find out what reallly happened to her child, even when others tell her to let go and move on....

Jesse is the kind of character that will move you, anger you, irritate you and then move you again. You may not like her at times, but you will admire her perseverance, her unswerving belief that one day she will get to the truth.
The other two main characters - Star and Kentucky "Tuck" Barnes - are equally well written; a teenage girl hiding a secret that messes with her mental and physical health and an ex-cop with painful memories who becomes a pillar of strength Jesse needs.

It's a difficult book to listen to; but it's also a very good book to listen to. While it is scary - I can't imagine anyone reading it or listening to it and not thinking immediately about kids in your family and their safety - but it is also kind of therapeutic; it shows you that people mourn in different ways, that for some mourning takes longer, but for everyone there comes a time when we find closure... And that's an optimistic thought.

Narration by Ms Mrozek is great. She brings characters to life; her interpretation of Jesse if perfect - she's irritating, moving, sometimes pitiful, sometimes warm and loving... Star's and Barnes's and all the other characters' personalities are equally well conveyed. This interpretation is what has made the book even scarier and more emotionally engaging and exhausting for me - in the best sense:) A great job, Ms Mrozek:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 person found this helpful

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Heartbreaking!

Sophie Last Seen by Marlene Adelstein is the nightmare mother's fear. Madeline Mrozek was magical performing this book. She brought the characters to life. I could hear exactly who was speaking. The story focuses around Jesse and her guilt over her daughter's disappearance. As a mother, I could easily relate in wanting a moments peace when dealing with a high demand child. Both author and narrator captured the emotions and feelings of the characters. This book gave me a new perspective on many things. I requested this review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I will most definitely listen to more books by this author and narrator. I really thought this book captured the feelings of living after loss and the need to find answers. The twists in the story were so well done. I was surprised with the ending, and found peace with it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • comfort
  • 02-02-20

a heartbreaking, uplifting story of loss

I received this audiobook as a gift from the narrator.

Jesse, a mother, loses her daughter Sophie whilst they are out shopping. Jesse is a broken woman. Her marriage dissolves (he then remarries and has two more children) she is an emotional and physical wreck. Her home looks like she has stared a re-cycling business, she no longer paints (her profession). Her time is spent looking for clues to her daughter's disappearance and working in a 2nd hand book shop.

Jess spends a lot of time hanging out at the Zone clothes shop, as this was the place that Sophie went missing. Jesse always told Sophie if she gets lost, to go back to the last place they had been together. It is at one of these visits to the shop that she sees a girl that catches her attention. She looks familiar AND she is chewing watermelon gum (Sophie's favourite). Could this be Sophie grown-up? She also finds the girls phone, which she had dropped in the change room.

Jess picks up "lost things" that obviously have a connection to her daughter's disappearance. This is why her home looks like it does.

Over the course we learn a bit more about Sophie. She has an obsessive interest in birds and begins to describe people who have certain "bird traits" by that birds breed. We also learn that Sophie was a difficult child, she had been tested by many specialists and they were unable to come up with a diagnosis. Then we find out that Sophie's parents begin to fall-apart due in part to Sohpie's behaviour.

One of her daughter's childhood friends, Star, starts to work at the bookshop(she is actually the owners daughter) and whilst Jesse and this girl used to be close, after the disappearance they drifted apart.They eventually come together again and through forgotten memories of THAT last summer a journal found hidden in Sophie's closet and a road trip they set out to find out what happened to Sophie.

They get so close many times just to have their investigation shut down by circumstance.
I loved this book and the narrator, she was perfect for the feel of the book.

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  • Placid
  • 08-25-19

Emotional

This story about a parent's worst nightmare. A child lost and not found. The writing was great but the subject was so emotional it was hard to be "entertained" and not get drawn into the book.

The narration was very good.

This book was provided free of charge with the expectation of an honest review.

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  • Helen
  • 07-21-19

amazing heart stopping book

Get Tissues ready
Six years ago, 10-year-old Sophie Albright disappeared from a shopping mall.
Unique, mysterious, and thoroughly absorbing, Sophie Last Seen is a touching story of love, loss, and survival. I loved it.
amazing heart stooping book by Marlene Adelstein
Narrated by: Madeline Mrozek who brought it to life