A prologue so haunting and terrifying as the narrator allows us to experience her last minutes on alive, the terror inflicted upon her by an unknown assailant, her love for her disabled young daughter’s day the final breaths she takes.
The story moves on as we have the next narrator a young teen who presses the bell of 52 Woodgreen Avenue hoping to deliver a bag of summer clothes for Meg and Grace. Meg is Grace’s mother and Cara is wondering why no one is answering the door. Entering the house and calling out no response but what she sees and finds will haunt her nightmares for a long time. Who killed Meg and where is Grace who is in a wheelchair, has muscular dystrophy, epilepsy and heart problems who would take her?
Jon Katrin is a local journalist who is drawn to learn more about what happened to Megan and Grace but in his heart, he knows he should steer clear of it, but he can’t. His marriage is on the fringe of disaster and the article he wrote about Meg and Grace the catalyst. Why get involved even further when he’s due at Marti counseling, arrives late and the author shares the meeting and we learn about his son Jake and his illness that might have taken his young life yet he survived and is thriving but he no longer lives with him and his mother.
Cara and Grace were once close and yet something created a rift and now, she feels compelled to help find her.
Several voices are heard but Cara and Jon’s are the strongest. His determined to find out what happened to Grace, search for her and find and seek redemption for the article he wrote which made him an outcast in this community. Cara felt guilty feeling she was not a good enough friend to Grace and reading the diary that was hidden away allows readers into the mind and hearts of both Grace and Cara. But Cara is determined to meet Dr. Rossi and Charles Nichols Grace’s grandfather. Jon takes the trip with her and the outcomes of both are startling as Rossi’s behavior is cold and the card is tossed am followed by the rants of the grandfather claiming no knowledge of having a daughter or granddaughter. Things get even more tense as Cara goes in search of a young man named Sam who befriended Grace on the Wishmakers website. Wanting to learn more about him hoping it will help find Grace.
Still searching is her handle but Good Sam has yet to respond and then something in her search and in the diary yields information about Grace that changes and moves it in a new direction. Just who is she really? Her trip to a Hawaii was canceled because her heart problem got worse but what really caused it? As you get to learn more about her relationship with her mother some red flags seem to come through and then a dress is found was it hers?
Jon and Cara form a bond and evidence is found about a Grace that sends Cara in search of Good Sam and Jon in search of answers from. Rossi as we learn about Megan’s drug addiction, stealing pills and blackmailing Rossi to write prescriptions. But Grace in her diary tells us more about her brother Danny who drowned, and Megan blamed it on Simon his father who we meet and learn that he is mentally ill .
Ruth, Jon’s wife has no empathy for Grace and could care less if she’s found . Even having a son that is now healthy she feels Jon should focus on his family and not worry about finding Grace. But Cara has a shocking revelation and her mother seems caught up in her own depression and Cara does not seem to be that close to her, independent and self-reliant two qualities her mom resents that she has.
Grace’s diary reveals what you might have already suspected about Megan. Was Grace really that sucky? Why was she in a wheelchair and how did Megan fall down the stairs? The harsh truth will shock readers as Cara has an encounter with Sam and the conversation is chilling and the result leaves you wondering more about Grace and her condition.
Cara and Jon learn more about Danny’s death, who Good Sam really is, the danger, the truth behind why Grace was so sick and the starling and shocking reveal in her diary leading us to learn how Megan died, why and how?
Strategically crafted, boldly executed the final diary reveals the truth behind Megan’s murder, the brilliance of the murderer, the manipulation and destruction of a mother/ daughter toxic relationship. As author Emily Elgar transports us to the small village of Ashford and allows us into the lives of Cara,Jon, Grace,Megan,Dave and Simon whose lives unravel one strand at a time until the author creates an explosive, calculated and well-constructed surprise ending that has more twists and turns and curves with the force of a raging storm and guided by Grace’s powerful journal, lies, greed, power, manipulation and the need for affirmation and attention will guide you to learn the harsh reality as to whether or why Grace Is Gone.
The epilogue brings the prologue full circle as you hear Megan’s final words in the prologue and two others in the epilogue and you the reader will decide whether justice was enacted, whether you agree with the outcome. Cara and Jon must move on with their lives but in what direction will they go? Will he finally write that story to redeem himself and will the public realize the gravity of the situation and what about Simon? Lives are changed, tragedy hits many but in the end, some will learn the true meaning of love, understanding and hope. Where is Grace? Grace is Gone?
Fran Lewis just reviews