Anna, Tom, and Jane are sitting down to dinner one night when the doorbell rings. Anna answers the door. “The first thing I see is her pale hair,” thinks Anna, “then her face … there’s something familiar about her.” Julie Whitaker has been gone for eight years, kidnapped from her bedroom at thirteen, “and just like that, the worst unhappens. Julie is home.” As the family tries to move forward, treading lightly, fault lines are exposed. When Anna gets a phone call from a private detective, he adds fuel to her dawning suspicions, and she begins to question this Julie’s identity. Is she or isn’t she?
Beginning with the exquisite tension of the prologue, Good as Gone, Austinite Amy Gentry’s debut novel, is by turns gripping, insightful, brutal, depressing, and hopeful. Gentry, a veteran of volunteer work helping victims of domestic and sexual violence, dives deep into murky psychological territory and sets up camp, empathically conveying the particular and disparate mindsets of small children, teenage girls, and grown women alike. Gentry’s portrait of contemporary American girlhood — attempting to grow up in a culture that pounds them about the head and shoulders with the message that their bodies are commodities (but don’t you dare presume the power to use it as such—this is reserved for men) — is devastating.Click here to read the entire review. Thank you!