She’s Not There

She's not ThereA lifetime ago, every year Caroline Shipley looked forward to her wedding anniversary. But then a celebratory trip to Mexico for the occasion with her husband and friends ended in the unsolved kidnapping of her infant daughter, Samantha. Now, fifteen years after that horrific time, divorced and isolated,Caroline is forced to relive the kidnapping by reporters who call every year on the anniversary of Samantha’s disappearance. However, this year when the phone rings, Caroline hears the sweet voice of a girl claiming to be her long-lost daughter. Plunged back into the world of heartbreak, suspicion and questions that led the case to run cold so many years ago, Caroline doesn’t know what or who to believe. But when she starts to figure it out, she finds the answers dangerously close to home.



Caroline and Hunter go to Mexico with family and friends to celebrate their anniversary.  On the last night of their vacation, their babysitter is cancelled.  Caroline is a little relieved because she has grown tired of the people who are vacationing with them.  She wants to spend the last night with her husband and children.  Hunter, however, is disappointed and convinces Caroline that they can leave the children in the hotel room, alone.  The table they have reserved is on the patio and has a perfect view of their hotel room window.  They alternate running upstairs to check on their girls every hour.  When they return to their room at the end of the night together, their youngest child is not there.

Fast forward fifteen years.  Caroline and Hunter are now divorced.  It is nearing the date of their anniversary which Caroline dreads because the kidnapping of their daughter, Samantha, is relived in the news every year.  Caroline receives a phone call from a young girl who thinks she is Samantha.  This is not the first time someone has claimed to be her daughter.  It doesn’t matter though, because Caroline will do anything to find her.

She’s Not There by Joy Fielding is an interesting domestic thriller; it is not a fast paced, heart racing thriller.  It transitions between the present and the past and unfolds through the perspective of Caroline.  There are some great twists and turns that lead to an unexpected ending.

This is my first read by Joy Fielding, and I definitely plan to read more of her books.

4/5 stars


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