Book Review – And Then You Were Gone by R. J. Jacobs

This was a buddy read with my friend Brittany, thank the skies for her…. She sure helped in bringing down my TBR by another book. I don’t think I would have read the book otherwise.

Brittany’s mini review : 3 stars

Shalini and I did it again! What an interesting idea with such an underwhelming execution. This was not the story I expected. I am not necessarily disappointed, just merely uninterested. The story took a weird turn that I was not anticipating, though the plot itself never felt like the problem. The character’s were all entirely unlikable and there were a lot of weird mix-ups throughout the story (that I hope Crooked Lane fixes before publishing). This first time author came up with a great idea, I just wish it had been routed a bit differently.

Her complete review is found here

A different book to review. An unlikable, unreliable main character made my job so difficult. Did I like her or did I hate her? Or did I love to hate her? These questions swirled in my mind as I read the book.

The story started simply with Emily and Paolo taking a day off to spend the night on a rented boat in the middle of the lake and Paolo disappeared. Emily sailed the boat to the pier, contacted the cops, and Paolo was presumed to be dead due to drowning with a tinge of suspicion on Emily. The story rolled on with a doubting co-worker, weird co-worker, burnt corpses, drowned corpse, all the while the cops marking Emily for murder.

Writing all this made me feel that everything was so exaggerated in this book, without any real evidence. Author R. J. Jacobs added more uncertainty to the mix when he made the main character Emily suffer from a bipolar disorder grade II wherein she remained in the hypo-maniac state… Oh how was I supposed to believe her or depend on her to lead me to the truth?!

The entire book was written from Emily’s POV, and I could see her brain neurons zipping and zapping as she flitted from one thought to the other. The story worked in a fast pace with Emily trying to find her peace of mind. With such an atmosphere, I cast my doubts on everyone in the book including Emily. And yes, I could guess the ending…

Then came my niggles, continuity was not maintained in the scenes. Walking cane was left in the house of the dead body, but the next scene had the cane with Emily, then it went back to the dead body’s house. How?!! Repetitive phrases, Emily didn’t sleep, didn’t take meds, didn’t eat was told multiple times. She was a child psychologist who had an appointment for 8am next day, but it didn’t happen. Marty her guide disappeared midway down the book, I thought there was a mystery in that, but nahh, he was chopped off. The writing could be tighter; at one point, I dozed off while reading. Ah, well…

A good concept and a swift pace in latter half, but a confused hypo-maniac main character barely made this book worthwhile, I wanted to get it done and get on with my life.

I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Crooked Lane Books, and this is my journey into its pages, straight from the heart!!

All my reviews can be found here

R. J. Jacobs is a psychologist in a clinical practice. He also performs PTSD evaluations for veterans. He lives in Nashville with his wife and their two children.

After years of learning how to manage her bipolar disorder, Emily Firestone finally has it under control. Even better, her life is coming together: she’s got a great job, her own place, and a boyfriend, Paolo, who adores her. So when Paolo suggests a weekend sailing trip, Emily agrees—wine, water, and the man she loves? What could be better? But when Emily wakes the morning after they set sail, the boat is still adrift…and Paolo is gone.

A strong swimmer, there’s no way Paolo drowned, but Emily is at a loss for any other explanation. Where else could he have gone? And why? As the hours and days pass by, each moment marking Paolo’s disappearance, Emily’s hard-won stability begins to slip.

But when Emily uncovers evidence suggesting Paolo was murdered, the investigation throws her mania into overdrive, even as she becomes a person of interest in her own personal tragedy. To clear her name, Emily must find the truth—but can she hold onto her own sanity in the process?

Publication date: 13th March 2019

Publisher: Crooked Lane Books

42 thoughts on “Book Review – And Then You Were Gone by R. J. Jacobs

  1. oh groan, i hate unreliable narrators, and sounded like this one was all over the place. i too notify the author to tell them there are more than my usually overlooked edit errors. i have had them get upset, but almost as many re-edited. i understand the feeling–i’ve been over my gpa’s books so many times i’m sick of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did tell the author.. He didn’t like it… But Gin, there were too many timing issues along with continuity of a scene and unbelievable actions… Lots of reviewers have complained… Ah well his look-out

      Like

      1. I’m enduring. Some days I feel pretty good, other days 😣. But that’s life. I take one day at a time and try to deal with chronic pain and health issues as best I can. 🤷🏽‍♀️ That’s all we can do, right? I’m tired of tests and doctors appointments. I’ve put them off until next month for now. I need a break from it all. Thanks for asking. 😊
        How are you?

        Liked by 1 person

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