Good as Gone Book Review

Image: Good as Gone cover.

Good as Gone Book Review

The next time someone in a writing workshop harps on about multiple perspectives not “working” in a book or story, or that they are too messy and chaotic, I’m going to shove Amy Gentry’s debut novel in their face, a novel where multiple perspectives are key for its execution. “Good as Gone” is able to take the conventional tropes of an unreliable narrator, a child kidnapping, and typical family drama, and spin everything in a whirlwind of suspense and mystery. As the reader, you will frantically question everything one moment, and then feel like you have it all figured out the next. But by the time you feel like you can catch your breath, a new section with a new name will start, new information will slowly trickle in, and you’re back to square one—or rather, feel like you’re at square zero.

I’m a huge sucker for books that allow us as the reader to know more than the characters, and this book put the suspense on a whole new level by giving the reader the illusion that they know the whole story. That Anna (the mother) just needs to get a few more clues and she will see it too, while keeping enough doubt in the pages to never let the reader go so far as to think that they actually know more than Anna does.

When you get to the end of the book, you realize that not much actually happens in its present moments, but you are so transfixed by piecing together the past that you don’t even notice until it’s over and you are yearning for more. Good as Gone will make you question whether you’re a good parent or not (even if you’re like me and don’t have kids), make you question the truth and what reality really is, make you delve into trauma in a lucid dream-like state, give you pieces to place together only to lead you down a different path where you find more pieces but none that match, and so on. A wonderful debut that will make you feel like Nancy Drew figuring out a mystery, only darker, so you might have to keep the light on at night so long, slender fingers won’t wrap around your doorframe when you aren’t looking.

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