by Bette Lee Crosby
Genres: Women's Fiction
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
When a music festival rolls through the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia, the Dixon family’s lives are forever changed. On the final night, a storm muffles the sound of the blaring music, and Rachel tucks her baby into bed before falling into a deep sleep. So deep, she doesn’t hear the kitchen door opening. When she and her husband wake up in the morning, the crib is empty. Emily is gone.
Vicki Robart is one of the thousands at the festival, but she’s not feeling the music. She’s feeling the emptiness over the loss of her own baby several months before. When she leaves the festival and is faced with an opportunity to fill that void, she is driven to an act of desperation that will forever bind the lives of three women.
When the truth of what actually happened that fateful night is finally exposed, shattering the lives they’ve built, will they be able to pick up the pieces to put their families back together again?
Bette Lee Crosby’s. stories stay with me long after I’ve closed the book. Such was the case with Emily, Gone. Grab your tissues, some wine, and turn off your phone. Travel with me to 1971 and the sleepy town of Hesterville, Georgia.
Losing a child is both unthinkable and unbearable. Crosby introduces us to three women. The one who birthed Emily, the one who took her, and the woman who raised her. This was a beautifully poignant story that shared the many facets of grief, love and motherhood. The story spans eighteen years and allows us into the lives of these women and their families.
Crosby relays her story from POVs of all three women and one of Rachel’s mother-in-law, whom I came to admire. There were also perspectives from a few secondary characters. I found these enhanced the story solidified the plot and gave depth to the characters’ emotions.
The author paints a portrait highlighting moments and weaving them into a tale that will touch you. From the music festival overwhelming a small southern town to the struggles a widow faces when her son takes a wife, and the emotional struggles of losing a child.
While I found fault with some of the characters’ actions, Crosby allowed me to feel their emotions, internal struggles and the depths of their reasonings. The story and events that unfolded felt plausible and genuine. The only niggle I had was with the reconnection but I am willing to call it fate’s intervention.
The story wasn’t all sad, there were happy moments, significant milestones and growth allowing me to grow close to these characters. Rachel’s life in particular was touching and I connected with her.
If you haven’t yet tried Bette Lee Crosby’s books I urge you grab Emily, Gone. This heartwarming standalone is the perfect place to find your next favorite author.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
Oh, this one sounds super amazing and heart wrenching. I am adding this one to my list. I can see this is a must get.
This one has me tempted too. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.
Anne - Books of My Heart
Wow. I think I would enjoy this except it would break my heart. Outstanding review! I want to read it. I am selective about this genre which may be why I enjoy what I do read.
I can see myself reading this. Great review.
Bette does write some stories that stick long after putting her books down. I have always enjoyed her work.
Tyler H. Jolley
Wow, she captured all the feels in this one. Excellent review, Kimba.
Hard not to listen when you write a review like this, on my tbr
Genesis @ Whispering Chapters
I love small towns so much! Gotta love when a story has depth and explores the characters deeply.
Crystal @ Lost in Storyland
This sounds like a fantastic read. I love books that explore characters, from their emotions to their conflicts and motivations.
Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Wow! 5 stars?!! What a great read! I love when you can connect with characters, and their story feels genuine and authentic. This sounds like an emotional story. I couldn’t imagine losing my child. Excellent Review Kim!
Oh wow, that sounds like a really touching, emotional story. I can’t imagine losing a child or having one stolen.
Trish @ Between My Lines
What a nightmare scenario, It sounds like a Diane Chamberlain book, and I always love those. And I love the 19070s setting too, definitely one for my list.
i read the blurb for this and thought this was absolutely heartbreaking, I can see that I wasn’t wrong. But it sounds like such a lovely read
I was such a chicken. I saw this one for review, read the blurb, and couldn’t do it. You got me onto her books and I’ve adored the four that I’ve read. Oh the feels! 🙂
I have this book on my stack, and can’t wait to read it. Thanks for your great review!
It sounds like a really touching one there!
Oh wow I’ve just found my next read. Thanks Kim
Wow. This sounds emotional even if it isn’t sad, Kimberly. I can’t imagine losing a child or taking someone else’s but it seems as though Crosby does a fine job at putting you in the shoes of these women who experience those things. And if she can make you understand them, if not agree with them, that’s something. I’ll give this author a looksie. 🙂
I don’t ever remember hearing about this author, but this book sounds absolutely gutting! I need to give it a go, especially with your glowing review.
This book sounds pretty heavy but nonetheless also a great story about love and motherhood. What a beautiful review Kimberly. Thanks for sharing.
Oh man, this sounds heartbreaking! I can definitely imagine being left in tears. I’m glad it wasn’t all achy moments though!