Gone by Julie Elizabeth Powell - A Review
Written by
Martha Rodriguez
January 2012
Written by
Martha Rodriguez
January 2012

Charley is a woman who is burdened with immense emotional pain.  She has suffered for herself and for her daughter, Jenny, for many years.  Doctors are able to keep Jenny alive after her heart stops, but to what end?  Confined to her twisted, silent body, Jenny is, for all intents and purposes, gone. 

Gone is a fantasy novel based on the true story of Julie Elizabeth Powell and her daughter Samantha.  In the novel, Charley is thrust into a sometimes strange, sometimes comforting other-world where she meets new friends and foes alike.  She wonders where she is and how she got there.  Is her mind playing tricks on her or is this real?  Is she dead or alive? 

In this alternative world, Charley meets a beautiful, sweet and gentle young woman who turns out to be her daughter, Jenny.  She feels great joy at the sight of her daughter, now healthy and vibrant after so many years of pain and silence.  But Charley has to make a decision.  Will she choose to stay in this strange place where her daughter is full of life or will she return to the Jenny who is gone?

This book could only have been written by a parent who has been through the torture of watching her child's life slip through her loving arms.  The emotions that Charley experiences on her fantasy journey are those that any parent would experience in her situation; love, hate, frustration, bravery, and guilt, to name a few. 

Ms. Powell takes us on a great adventure with Charley.  Her feelings are raw.  They make us fear for her life in one instance and push her to accept another harrowing challenge in the next.  The path is long and tiring for Charley but it's well worth accompanying her.  What will she learn about herself and about life along the way?  Will she decide to stay or to leave?

One thing I really like about this book is that, even with all her emotional pain, Charley has a sense of humor, especially when she talks to herself.  We've all had that "laugh or cry" moment and sometimes Charley goes for the laugh.  She might describe it more as losing her mind than having a sense of humor but that's part of the charm of the character.

Gone is a terrific read!

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  • Martha Rodriguez

    Thanks for stopping by to read my review, Kelly.  I think that Julie did a great job on the comic relief in her book.  I really appreciated it and I think other readers will, too!

  • Kelly Hashway

    I love when books have humor regardless of how serious the overall topic is. Every book should have humor somewhere. I'm a sucker for comic relief.