4 star

Since She Went Away

By David Bell

ISBN: 9780451474216

Author’s website:

Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Jerjen



Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.

The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.

But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.


Jenna Barton blames herself for the disappearance of her best friend.  The two were supposed to meet one night but Jenna was late getting there.  When she got to the meeting place, Celia was gone, and has not been seen or heard from since.  She feels that if she would have arrived on time, Celia would not have gone missing.  Whenever there is a new clue or lead, she finds herself drawn to the site, afraid that she might find her friend dead.  She beats herself up daily about it and is having a difficult time moving on with her life.  But she needs to pull it together for her son’s sake.

Jared is Jenna’s fifteen year old son.  He knows how upset and guilty his mom feels about her friend’s disappearance, and he feels bad for her.  But like most teenagers, he is even more concerned about his own life.   Although he does not have a lot of experience with girls, he has fallen hard for the new girl in school, Tabitha.  He is pretty sure that she has become his girlfriend, but he is not positive about that fact.  He does know that he really likes her and wants to be with her as much as possible.  But her father is strict and does not want her to have any type of relationship with a boy.  And when he accidentally and secretly watches an interaction between the two, he has more questions than answers.  Both he and his mother have mysteries to solve but neither will be easy to get answers to.

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  They seemed very realistic to me and felt like they could be my neighbors.  The relationship between mother and son seemed as though it could be any single mother and child dynamics and made it more believable.  The secondary characters were also believable and added another level to the book

The writing style flows smoothly and it is a fast paced book.  The book is mainly written from two perspectives, that of Jenna and Jared.  I do not always like reading two different points of view, but in this case it worked well.  I feel it gave me more insight into both of these characters and I learned a little more about their personalities.   And the author expertly weaved together both perspectives as the book moved along.  There are enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and I was surprised with the ending.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well-crafted suspense mystery.  I have now read two book by this author, the other one being Somebody I Used To Know, and I plan to read more of his work.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*