Select one of the keywords
He's Gone    by Deb Caletti order for
He's Gone
by Deb Caletti
Order:  USA  Can
Bantam, 2013 (2013)
Softcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Deb Caletti's He's Gone offers an empathetic portrayal of a woman dealing with the aftermath of her husband's disappearance, while wrestling with her feelings about their life together and with the possibility of change.

Readers gradually understand that Dani jumped from the frying pan into the fire when she left her first husband Mark (who physically abused her) to marry the controlling, verbally abusive Ian, a software executive. He's Gone opens as she awakens the morning after a particularly difficult office party to find that he's gone missing. Dani has trouble remembering all that happened the night before.

We accompany Dani as she searches for Ian, deals with police and family (including Ian's hostile ex-wife and daughters) and sifts through her memories of the past that has led up to this difficult present. Dani's mother and daughter Abby rally to her side and offer their (not always welcome) support. Her mother tells her 'You keep confusing the one who's saving you with the one who's drowning you.'

Dani tries to contact the therapist she consulted before she left Mark - Dr. Shana Berg had warned her that 'Nice can be a place to hide' and 'Nice is often just powerlessness with a smile.' As police suspicion (fuelled by the stepdaughters) gradually centers on Dani, she begins to wonder if she is indeed guilty. And readers wonder too.

It's an excellent novel that book clubs should address. While readers share Dani's growing frustration with her situation, we also share her hope in the possibility of growth and evolution out of her dark life pattern.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Contemporary books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews