Gone by Julie Elizabeth Powell

41e1Qvgzh9L._AA160_“Gone” is a novel that was inspired by a heartbreaking period in the author’s life, but in itself, it is not a sad book. In fact, it’s an inspiring and hopeful read.

Charley Woods is the mother of Jenny, who was left with severe brain damage at the age of two. When we first meet Charley, it is fifteen years after this devastating event, and Charley is a wreck. She is wracked by guilt, she comfort eats and generally leads a stressful life. She visits the shell that is her teenage daughter and we are told that “she hated every visit”. Then one day, Charley has a heart attack and finds herself….where? From this point, we embark, with Charley on a voyage of discovery. Is she going mad, or is the world in which she finds herself real? How can the lovely young woman that she meets be her daughter?

Charley asks herself many questions throughout the book and the author uses these questions and challenges to explore the concepts of hope, forgiveness and living without fear.
I suppose that in many ways, “Gone” could be called a fairy tale for adults. There are some wonderful scenes and characters that Charley meets on her quest. I particularly enjoyed the episodes with the talking flower, Penelope, and also enjoyed the characters, Brogan and Chamber. Charley’s quest in the Orb of Caprice is gripping and exciting, as she strives to reach her goal.
This is a book that works on several levels and will stay with me for a long time.

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