Good as Gone

Good as Gone

by Amy Gentry

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A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"So gripping you might start to question your own family’s past." —Entertainment Weekly

“[One] of the most anticipated summer thrillers . . . Gentry's novel isn't primarily about the version of the self that comes from a name and a family of origin; instead, it draws our attention to the self that's forged from sheer survival, and from the clarifying call to vengeance.” —New York Times Book Review

Anna’s daughter Julie was kidnapped from her own bedroom when she was thirteen years old, while Anna slept just downstairs, unaware that her daughter was being ripped away from her. For eight years, she has lived with the guilt and the void in her family, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night, the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. Anna and the rest of the family are thrilled, but soon Anna begins to see holes in Julie’s story. When she is contacted by a former detective turned private eye, she is forced to wonder if this young woman is even her daughter at all. And if she isn’t Julie, what is it that she wants?
“So much about this novel is fresh and insightful and decidedly not like every other thriller . . . Good as Gone ranks as an outstanding debut, well worth reading. This is no mere Gone Girl wannabe.” —Dallas Morning News

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544916074
Publisher: HMH Books
Publication date: 07/26/2016
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 26,796
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

AMY GENTRY is a book reviewer for the Chicago Tribune whose work has also appeared in Salon, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Best Food Writing of 2014. She lives in Austin, where she volunteered for several years with victims of sexual and domestic violence.
AMY GENTRY is the author of Good as Gone, a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, and Last Woman Standing. She is also a book reviewer and essayist whose work has appeared in numerous outlets, including the Chicago Tribune, Salon, the Paris Review, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Austin Chronicle. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Chicago and lives in Austin, Texas.

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Good as Gone 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you hooked from the first page.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would have given 4 or even 5 stars but writing style is confusing. Just a little hard to follow going between a first and third person narrative. Otherwise an engrossing story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to follow and boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love a good suspense. In this story Julie is believed to be kidnapped at knife point by an unknown stranger. The only witness her younger sister, Jane, hidden in a closet. Eight years later she returns with a story about being imprisoned by the leader of a drug cartel and there are lots of questions about what happened to her and of course, is the girl that really returned Julie? This book was clearly filled with suspense and intrigue, but the actions of the characters, particularly the parents (and especially the mother) of the child that was missing for eight years left me feeling perplexed and uncomfortable. Maybe it was the slightly disjointed writing style that left me feeling uncomfortable? That being said, and knowing this is a critique of the book, I’d like to add that the disjointed writing style was a nice parallel to the disjointed emotions of the book: a mother happy her daughter is home (Or is she? Is it her?) and knowing that whatever awful things her daughter had to endure, if she did endure the things she said she did, has brought back a young, broken woman home to her and not her daughter. Then there is the viewpoint of Julie. She clearly is damaged. She is clearly uncomfortable being Julie after all these years. There is a lot of emotional material in this book. It was not my favorite, but it certainly wasn’t bad. I’m not sure what to make of it. Maybe I should give it more stars for leaving me feeling so…I don’t know?
Chowbell More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed in this book. Like another reviewer here,, I felt that the jumping between characters was confusing. It starts out with a bang, but it doesn't consistently deliver a clear and compelling story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read that you won't want to put down!
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Good As Gone took me on quite the ride. While it took a few chapters to get used to the forward and backward movement of time - once I settled into the flow I realized it was a brilliant way to tell the story. The story jumps right off to a good start when Julie Whitaker goes missing - and then jumps straight forward to the present when she suddenly shows up on her parent's door years later. As Julie is welcomed back into her home, millions of questions come to mind. Where has she been? How did she get back? And most importantly, is it really her? Julie's mom has doubts, but she's afraid to pursue them, the rest of the family seems so happy together. But maybe she has a reason to doubt. Small things that just don't seem quite right start adding up, and eventually, she can't ignore them any longer. Things quickly deteriorate in Julie's family, and through it all, we are slowly walking backward through her life - up to the day a little girl was kidnapped and the events that led up to it. This was an incredible journey. I found myself second-guessing my opinions of Julie and her mother more than once; first convinced of one truth and then another. I was guessing up until the very end, and once I figured it all out, I was desperately hoping the truth would win out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me guessing!
ro-rie More than 1 year ago
This thriller starts out with a young girl witnessing the abduction of her 13-year-old sister. Julie is missing for eight years until she one day appears on the doorstep of her family's home. Questions arise in the mother, Anna, as to whether this is really Julie or someone's depraved way of taking more from this already shattered family. Anna's one-woman search for the truth, told in chronological order, intertwines with "Julie's" story, told in reverse order, from present to past, until readers reach both women's present lives and the truth about Julie is revealed. It's a tricky and difficult way of writing but, for the most part, Gentry does a good job at it, though the reader has to take a step back and fit the pieces of the puzzle together to figure out what is going on. Getting through a couple of Julie's chapters will help the reader understand the regression, but it's a bit confusing at first, especially since "Julie" goes by other names at different times in her life. The story is in part reminiscent of the Elizabeth Smart abduction case, but there's a lot going on in this book and it can be a bit much to wade through. And some of it's a bit unbelievable. For instance, as a parent, the first thought in my mind was, Why aren't the parents, especially Anna, not certain this is their daughter? The image of Julie must have been emblazoned in their minds and revisited daily, every freckle, every mole, scar, gesture, or action; how she walked, how she talked, how she cried, and how she laughed. After all, eight years isn't all that long. But without Anna's questioning who this person is (and without doing any DNA testing, which is bizarrely but conveniently avoided), there wouldn't be a story. This book is readable, a bit gritty at times, and it flows pretty well. Yes, there are comparisons to Gone Girl and Girl on a Train--and the title was a bit too similar (on purpose, I assume), but the fact that I wanted to return to this book to reach the conclusion, as I did with the other two, shows there was plenty of suspense.
Twink More than 1 year ago
Amy Gentry's new novel, Good as Gone, takes inspiration from real life events. (There are many similarities to the Elizabeth Smart case) Eight years ago, thirteen year old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom at her parent's home. Her younger sister Jane witnesseD the crime from her hiding spot. Terrified, she didn't alert her parents for three hours. By that time, there was no trace of Julie and chances of finding her were slim...... ....until the day when a young woman knocks at the door. Could it really be Julie returned? Her parents are ecstatic - in the beginning. While Dad's faith that this is his daughter never wavers, Mom Anna has serious doubts. As does the reader. Gentry plays with the reader, giving the returned Julie her own voice and flashback chapters that plant the same seeds of doubt in our minds. Julie/Not Julie's life is hard to read about. I did like the present to past timeline for Julie/Not Julie's chapters. As the book progresses we get closer to the night - and the reason Julie/Not Julie was taken. The emotional upheaval of the return, the guilt, the questions, family dynamics and the mother/daughter relationships are also viewed and explored through Jane and Anna's points of view. I did find the police investigation into the return somewhat lacking. The night she returns, she is not even taken to a hospital. The question of whether it is Julie or not would seem to be easy to confirm with DNA. (Yes, that pragmatic nature of mine always asks these questions) I think the 'novel of suspense' moniker on the cover, may be a bit ambitious. I liked the book, but didn't find it overly suspenseful. Instead I saw it as a page turner - bit of mystery and a journey to the final answer - it it Julie or isn't it?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In 'Room,' the story was disturbing but important and told with genius. This is neither.