Friday, April 19, 2013

He's Gone

I have read all of Deb Caletti's young adult novels and enjoy them a great deal.  When I saw He's Gone, her upcoming book, I instantly added it to my TBR list, only to be a bit surprised to find that it is an adult novel.

Dani Keller awakes one morning alone in bed. The houseboat where she and her husband, Ian, live is quiet. Dani at first assumes that Ian must have gone out to get something, but as time passes and he doesn't return, she becomes more worried.  His car is still at home, but his wallet and cell phone are gone.

Strangely to me, Dani's first reaction is that her husband must have left her. As she recalls bits and pieces of their last night out before Ian's disappearance, they argued briefly about something.  As the story unfolds Dani begins to reveal why she feels that her missing husband has chosen to leave.  Theirs is a second marriage - both having found each other while married to someone else. In fact, their children played on the same sports team.  His daughters have never accepted Dani and his relationship with them has been strained because of it.  Dani questions Ian's faithfulness to this marriage as she recalls him speaking closely the night before he disappeared with an attractive female colleague.

He's Gone is suspenseful in some parts. I really did want to find out what happened to Ian, unable to believe he would have chosen to leave Dani.  However, in my opinion, this novel may  not be a true suspense novel because there is a lot of focus on Dani's thought process and feelings - more introspective than full of action.

There are lots of things to discuss in this novel - the idea of how much you really know another person, the relationship between Dani and Ian, comparisons between Ian and Dani's first husband, Mark - making it a great book club selection.

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