Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

Domestic violence is a really hot topic these days.  Awareness has gone up so much that even the NFL (yes, the National Football League) is airing commercials to raise that awareness even farther.  The goal of all this increased awareness of domestic violence is to help remove the shame that keeps victims silent.  It’s the same kind of thing as with mental illness.  When the shame is removed, people will speak out.

Since You’ve Been Gone is the story of a woman and child that have been on the run from an abusive man for years.  Unlike other books on this subject, Edie and Sydney have done it all on their own.  Maybe that’s why they’ve had so much trouble keeping ahead of him, even after having moved across oceans in order to escape.  Then again, having professional help isn’t going to help much if the man is in law enforcement, as is the case in Since You’ve Been Gone.

As I was reading Since You’ve Been Gone I couldn’t help but compare it to Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen (which I read recently).  They have a lot of similarities, but the perspective is unique in each book.  Since You’ve Been Gone is told in the first person by Edie (a teenager), while Black and Blue is told in the first person by Frannie (a grown woman).  And I can’t really decide which I prefer.  On the one hand Edie’s innocence in the face of all she’s been through is something you don’t often see.  On the other, the story is more complete when told from an adult’s perspective.

While I often found the story difficult believe, I think it works well as a cautionary tale.  And I guess for me (with my family history; long story), that’s all I see when I read books like these.  That’s why I’ve given Since You’ve Been Gone a Leave It rating.  That being said, I think anyone lacking such experience might enjoy (if that word can be applied to a story about a sensitive subject) this book.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I have an e-ARC copy of this that I still need to get to, but I’ve be hesitant to start it because of the heavy topic. Especially after reading so many dark books lately! Sorry you didn’t love this one. 🙂

    1. Leila

      I have to say that for such a heavy topic it wasn’t terribly heavy, which was actually a disappointment. I’m sad I didn’t like it either, but it wasn’t too long, so I’m not missing the time spent reading it quite so much.

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