When She Returned
One woman's reappearance throws her family into turmoil, exposing dark secrets and the hidden, often devastating truth of family relationships.Kate Bennett vanished from a parking lot eleven years ago, leaving behind her husband and young daughter. When she shows up at a Montana gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help, investigators believe she may have been abducted by a cult.Kate's return flips her family's world upside down--her husband is remarried, and her daughter barely remembers her. Kate herself doesn't look or act like she did before.While the family tries to help Kate reintegrate into society, they discover truths they've been hiding from each other about their own relationships. But they aren't the only ones with secrets. As the family unravels what happened to Kate, a series of shocking revelations shows that Kate's return is more sinister than any of them could have imagined.

When She Returned Details

TitleWhen She Returned
Author
ReleaseOct 15th, 2019
PublisherThomas & Mercer
ISBN-139781542092906
Rating
GenreMystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Fiction

When She Returned Review

  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    Things have come undone.....Lucinda Berry presents a storyline that has the feel of shifting sand under your feet. Can't quite get the balance of it all. Can't quite get a handle on those ships that set sail in these choppy waters.Kate Bennett is a stay-at-home mother of five year old Abbi in Northern California. The "stay-at-home" portion seems to be driven by her husband, Scott. Kate longs to be back in her journalism lane free from what she perceives are deadend walls Things have come undone.....Lucinda Berry presents a storyline that has the feel of shifting sand under your feet. Can't quite get the balance of it all. Can't quite get a handle on those ships that set sail in these choppy waters.Kate Bennett is a stay-at-home mother of five year old Abbi in Northern California. The "stay-at-home" portion seems to be driven by her husband, Scott. Kate longs to be back in her journalism lane free from what she perceives are deadend walls all day.Her former boss calls with an assignment that gets the juices flowing once again. Kate is to interview the head of Love International which is based out of Pierce College. The organization focuses on helping college students who are battling opioid addiction. The interview with Ray Fischer seems to go well along with her boss' approval. It appears that Kate has her foot in the door once again.But a few weeks later, Kate's car is found in a Target's parking lot. Her keys are in the ignition, handbag on the seat, and shopping bags in the trunk. Absolutely no sign of Kate.Lucinda Berry fast forwards to eleven years later entitled "Now". Abbi is sixteen and Scott is remarried to a widow named Meredith who has two college aged sons. The quiet suburbia setting is in for a nightmare though. Kate shows up terrified at a gas station in Montana with a baby in tow. The upcoming weeks will find this disjointed family living under one roof trying to piece together Kate's missing years. Traumatized and anxious, Kate refuses to give much information under the scrutiny of the FBI and stress counseling. The chapters will revert to "Then" in which Kate's story slowly takes on a face.One would think that we have a blockbuster here. Not so fast. What starts out as a high-interest storyline begins to sink under the weight of the "Then" aspect. Without giving away anything more, we have a grown woman acting like a teenage runaway. Everything is built on this premise with the end result falling apart like a Jenga game. So much unnecessary dialogue and elaborate explanations while in "Thenville". A shot of energy at the end was not enough to save this one for me. You may have an entirely different experience from mine. Check it out and see.I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review. My thanks to Thomas & Mercer and to Lucinda Berry for the opportunity.
    more
  • Shelby
    January 1, 1970
    11-years ago wife and mother, Kate Bennett disappeared in California without a trace. After months turned into years, her husband, Scott and her daughter, Abbi were forced to move on with their lives. Abbi is now 16 and barely remembers her mom. Scott has since remarried another widow named Meredith, brought together by their shared grief. Now unexpectedly, Kate is found at a gas station in Montana, a 7-week old baby on her hip. Severely malnourished, clearly beaten and psychologically traumatiz 11-years ago wife and mother, Kate Bennett disappeared in California without a trace. After months turned into years, her husband, Scott and her daughter, Abbi were forced to move on with their lives. Abbi is now 16 and barely remembers her mom. Scott has since remarried another widow named Meredith, brought together by their shared grief. Now unexpectedly, Kate is found at a gas station in Montana, a 7-week old baby on her hip. Severely malnourished, clearly beaten and psychologically traumatized, Kate is baffling both doctors and police. Scott never expected to see his first wife again and when she reappears out of the blue, their life is thrown completely upside down. The police start investigating what happened to Kate. And when they start to look into her disappearance, they learn she left her family of her own volition and joined a cult. Scott thought he knew his childhood sweetheart, but it becomes clear that he never really knew his wife after all. When She Returned by Lucinda Berry kept me hooked from the very start. Not only do I love stories about missing people, but I’m very intrigued by cults. So when this story delved into what it was like to be in a cult, I found myself unable to put this book down. Previously I read The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry and I’m happy to say I loved this book just as much. 4/5 stars. Thank you to NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and Lucinda Berry for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Chantal
    January 1, 1970
    This book has a refreshing intense storyline you don't see everyday. At first I didn't know if it was something I would like because it was out of the ordinary, but I really loved this book. When I was half way through I could not put it down, I had to know the end and wonder what I would do in that situation? The story is told out of the eyes of the missing female, the daughter and the new wife and it will hold you tight.This is a ARC from the publisher, which I got for a honest review.This book has a refreshing intense storyline you don't see everyday. At first I didn't know if it was something I would like because it was out of the ordinary, but I really loved this book. When I was half way through I could not put it down, I had to know the end and wonder what I would do in that situation? The story is told out of the eyes of the missing female, the daughter and the new wife and it will hold you tight.This is a ARC from the publisher, which I got for a honest review.
    more
  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    Fast and Furious!Kate disappears from a parking lot 11 years agoHer hubby and daughter are devastatedEventually Scott remarries and him, his new wife Meredith and his daughter Abbi have a new life but they never forget KateAnd then, one day, she appears, with a babyWhere has she been? Who took her and why?I’m not going to say the answer to any of the questions but its a fascinating and very dark story and extremely well researched, thought out, presented and w Fast and Furious!Kate disappears from a parking lot 11 years agoHer hubby and daughter are devastatedEventually Scott remarries and him, his new wife Meredith and his daughter Abbi have a new life but they never forget KateAnd then, one day, she appears, with a babyWhere has she been? Who took her and why?I’m not going to say the answer to any of the questions but its a fascinating and very dark story and extremely well researched, thought out, presented and written and scarily believableThe adjustment to all their lives is massive and things start to spin out of controlBut then, the ultimate blindside, had me gasping out loud and ok will use the word ‘twist’ happens and its a raw, evil and shocking oneIts brilliantAt times brutal, other times gentle this book is dramatic and sinister and above all else very very readable 10/105 Stars
    more
  • Louise Wilson
    January 1, 1970
    Scott and Kate are happily married. They have a five year old daughter, Abbi. Then one day Kate just seems to vanish from a Target parking lot. At first Tome refuses to believe that Kate isn't coming home. But eventually life moves on and Tom remarried. Now eleven years have passed and Kate turns up with a baby. Kate is like a stranger to them now. Abbi, Kate and Tom's daughter, barely remembers her other. How will they all cope with the situation they all find themselves in? Especially Meredith Scott and Kate are happily married. They have a five year old daughter, Abbi. Then one day Kate just seems to vanish from a Target parking lot. At first Tome refuses to believe that Kate isn't coming home. But eventually life moves on and Tom remarried. Now eleven years have passed and Kate turns up with a baby. Kate is like a stranger to them now. Abbi, Kate and Tom's daughter, barely remembers her other. How will they all cope with the situation they all find themselves in? Especially Meredith, Tom's new wife.This story is told from the perspectives of Kate, Abbi and Meredith. Ate tells us what happened to her in the years that she was missing. Abbi and Meredith tell us what its like having Kate in their lives and the struggles that brings. The story also flips between the past and present. I liked the authors style in writing this book. There are a few twists and the characters are well rounded. The ending was a bit predictable. An enjoyable read.I would like to thank NetGalley, Thomas & Mercer and the author Lucinda Berry for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Bennett went shopping and disappeared. Her keys, purse, groceries were found in her car still parked at the shopping mall. She left behind her husband, a young daughter, and a promising career.Eleven years later showed up at a gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help.In the meantime her husband had her declared legally dead and has since remarried. Her daughter barely remembers her.Problems begin when the former husband invites Kate to stay Kate Bennett went shopping and disappeared. Her keys, purse, groceries were found in her car still parked at the shopping mall. She left behind her husband, a young daughter, and a promising career.Eleven years later showed up at a gas station, clutching an infant and screaming for help.In the meantime her husband had her declared legally dead and has since remarried. Her daughter barely remembers her.Problems begin when the former husband invites Kate to stay with him, his now-wife and daughter while she recuperates from the traumas she has suffered.It seems like they all have secrets ... and some secrets are much more menacing than others.The story premise is a good one, although I can't say it was highly suspenseful. It's more a mystery than a thriller. It's Kate's voice that leads the reader from the days that led up to her disappearance, what happened while she was gone, from them to now. It also tells the story of how the new wife accepts this woman into her home and the turmoil this causes.As the family unravels, a series of shocking revelations shows that Kate’s return is more sinister than any of them could have imagined. The ending was somewhat predictable ... but the book is still well worth reading.Many thanks to the author / Thomas & Mercer / Netgalley for the digital copy of this psychological mystery. Read and reviewed voluntarily, opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
    more
  • Rachel
    January 1, 1970
    *thank you to Netgalley, Lucinda Berry and Thomas & Mercer for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*4.5 stars!When She Returned is my second novel by Lucinda Berry. Once again she has written an extraordinary story! Centred around the past and the present, a mother has ended up in being lured into a Cult by a man named Ray. For 11 years her husband, Scott and now 16 year old daughter, Abbi, have been trying to find her. Then suddenly, there she is. She has tur/>When *thank you to Netgalley, Lucinda Berry and Thomas & Mercer for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*4.5 stars!When She Returned is my second novel by Lucinda Berry. Once again she has written an extraordinary story! Centred around the past and the present, a mother has ended up in being lured into a Cult by a man named Ray. For 11 years her husband, Scott and now 16 year old daughter, Abbi, have been trying to find her. Then suddenly, there she is. She has turned up at a Gas Station clutching a baby to her chest. She is reunited with her family and as the story unfolds, it seems things aren't exactly as they appear and then the unthinkable happens which changes the families world once again.I was drawn into this story from the very first couple of pages. It never got boring. There are 3 people telling this story. Kate, the mother. Abbi, the daughter. Meridith, who is Scott's new wife. It makes this such a fascinating read. It felt quite accurate aswell, like how the characters played out is what I would pretty much expect. The reactions to Kate having been found and brought back to stay in her old home and then Kate's PTSD. There were a few things about that that I had agreed with because it's exactly how it would have played out. I would definitely recommend this, especially to those with an interest in cults as that is a pretty heavy theme in this book. I really enjoyed this and no doubt it won't be my last book by Lucinda Berry.
    more
  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Wow--that's exactly the way a psychological thriller should be. Kept me guessing what exactly was going on the entire way through, and what a ride that was. Lots of surprises, and I had a difficult time putting it down (I know it sounds cliche, but it's the truth!)The narrative moves quickly and we get points of view from three characters in the past and present. It sounds like too much, but the flow works well and makes complete sense, each of the characters has a distinctive voice and it Wow--that's exactly the way a psychological thriller should be. Kept me guessing what exactly was going on the entire way through, and what a ride that was. Lots of surprises, and I had a difficult time putting it down (I know it sounds cliche, but it's the truth!)The narrative moves quickly and we get points of view from three characters in the past and present. It sounds like too much, but the flow works well and makes complete sense, each of the characters has a distinctive voice and it's easy to keep them straight.The entire thing, while really out there, is actually believable. I've read enough about cults to feel like the story is really authentic, and the characters act in ways that might seem totally bonkers, but it seems very real.The premise of someone missing and then returned is intriguing in itself, and the writer does an excellent job at conveying the story. Well done, I will read more of her work in the future.I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
    more
  • Christine
    January 1, 1970
    Three Stars. I want to start by saying this is my third novel by Dr. Lucinda Berry and I absolutely LOOOVED The Perfect Child and Saving Noah. I have recommended both over and over to my friends in mental health and child welfare. When She Returned, was not on the same level as the two previous novels mentioned. This never grabbed me and was rather predictable. I didn't feel any emotional connection or pull towards any of the situations in the book. I know this will be a delicious book for some Three Stars. I want to start by saying this is my third novel by Dr. Lucinda Berry and I absolutely LOOOVED The Perfect Child and Saving Noah. I have recommended both over and over to my friends in mental health and child welfare. When She Returned, was not on the same level as the two previous novels mentioned. This never grabbed me and was rather predictable. I didn't feel any emotional connection or pull towards any of the situations in the book. I know this will be a delicious book for some people. I think I was expecting something more sinister. I plan on reading anything Lucinda Berry writes next and will not even bother to read the back cover. Thank you NetGalley and Thomas Mercer for an eARC of, When She Returned, in exchange for my honest review.
    more
  • Miriam
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars audio4.5 stars story. Wish more of Lucinda Berry's books can in audio form.
  • Tania
    January 1, 1970
    Kate went missing 11 years ago when she went to the supermarket. The family doesn’t know what happened to her because she vanished. No body was found. Her husband thought he would never see her again. He has been raising their daughter and found himself a new wife. When Kate is found with a baby across the country. We find out that she was in a cult. I loved how the other showed you past and present. Definitely a Paige turner. I really want to read more by this author. Def recommend
    more
  • PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
    January 1, 1970
    Slightly spoilerish After eleven years missing, Kate returns home with a newborn baby. Her husband Scott, now married to Meredith, wants the old Kate back. Abbi, only five when her mom disappeared, just wants to know her mother. The mystery of Kate’s missing eleven years haunts everyone.I didn’t enjoy WHEN SHE RETURNED as much as most of Lucinda Berry’s novels. Of the three narrators, Abbi was the only one I enjoyed. Vulnerable, yet strong, the teen loved and supported her mother unc Slightly spoilerish After eleven years missing, Kate returns home with a newborn baby. Her husband Scott, now married to Meredith, wants the old Kate back. Abbi, only five when her mom disappeared, just wants to know her mother. The mystery of Kate’s missing eleven years haunts everyone.I didn’t enjoy WHEN SHE RETURNED as much as most of Lucinda Berry’s novels. Of the three narrators, Abbi was the only one I enjoyed. Vulnerable, yet strong, the teen loved and supported her mother unconditionally. I empathized with Meredith, but not her tactics. She was in such a difficult position, but waffling between martyr and jealous suspicion didn’t work for me. Kate’s chapters show how she ended up where she was and why she stayed. I understand the psychology of Stockholm Syndrome, cults and brainwashing, but couldn’t connect with her. If she has received more comprehensive psychological counseling aimed at her healing rather then the police/FBI investigation the outcome might have been better.I did not enjoy Kate’s Then chapters and the descriptions of abuse in the cult and skimmed over some of that. While necessary to understanding the circumstances and not gratuitous, I’m familiar enough with what goes on that I didn’t need the specifics.I hated the ending of the book, not just plot-wise, but the abruptness. When I’m expecting more and turn the page to find the story is over, the book feels incomplete.WHEN SHE RETURNED isn’t a bad book. I like Berry’s word building, she’s quite readable. The story just didn’t work for me.
    more
  • Jennifer Holloway Jones
    January 1, 1970
    I loved the overall premise of this book. Kate goes shopping one day and never returns home. They find her car and there is no trace of what has happened to Kate. One day she returns. Her husband has remarried and her daughter barely remembers her. As the investigation begins, they find out that it was her choice to leave them. She has become invested in Love International after interviewing them as a reporter. She, also, returns with an infant on her hip. Nothing is what it seems. I like that t I loved the overall premise of this book. Kate goes shopping one day and never returns home. They find her car and there is no trace of what has happened to Kate. One day she returns. Her husband has remarried and her daughter barely remembers her. As the investigation begins, they find out that it was her choice to leave them. She has become invested in Love International after interviewing them as a reporter. She, also, returns with an infant on her hip. Nothing is what it seems. I like that this book goes back and forth in the present and past, while also switching characters. I would love to read more from this author.
    more
  • Bridgett
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this definitely wasn't what I was expecting after reading The Perfect Child, a far superior novel by Lucinda Berry . I loved that book. When She Returned...not so much. Don't get me wrong. This is very well-written, and if you're looking for a character study examining the effects of losing a loved one to a cult (or how incredibly smart people fall into such a destructive trap), this is definitely a story you'll love. I just couldn't really connect with any of the characters, and both books I've read by this auth Well, this definitely wasn't what I was expecting after reading The Perfect Child, a far superior novel by Lucinda Berry . I loved that book. When She Returned...not so much. Don't get me wrong. This is very well-written, and if you're looking for a character study examining the effects of losing a loved one to a cult (or how incredibly smart people fall into such a destructive trap), this is definitely a story you'll love. I just couldn't really connect with any of the characters, and both books I've read by this author included incredibly annoying, totally duh-headed males protagonists. Beyond that, I think I was simply expecting something a little more grisly. I needed something more grisly. What I got was flat, and not even remotely shocking.The timeline was wonky. For example, Kate, a journalist, used the internet to research Ray for her story...but later, upon her return, acts as though she's never heard of it before. And she was supposedly gone for 11 years, but the sections of the story told from her POV most definitely did not cover 11 years. The whole story was anti-climatic...and predictable. I won't say more for fear of spoilers, but from the moment Kate arrived home, I suspected how things would play out, and I was correct...which sucks. Overall...I'm feeling pretty "meh" about this novel. **Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance copy in exchange for my candid review.
    more
  • Kalyn Woodbury
    January 1, 1970
    Kate and Scott had an enviable life once— that is, until she vanished into thin air, leaving all of her belongings in the car and her loving family at home. Over a decade later, after she's been declared dead and Scott has been remarried to a fellow widow- Kate's found terrified, pleading for help with a seven month old infant in her arms. Now everybody's life is turned upside down and the secrets begin unraveling.. When She Returned is a psychological thriller written by an actual psychologist, w Kate and Scott had an enviable life once— that is, until she vanished into thin air, leaving all of her belongings in the car and her loving family at home. Over a decade later, after she's been declared dead and Scott has been remarried to a fellow widow- Kate's found terrified, pleading for help with a seven month old infant in her arms. Now everybody's life is turned upside down and the secrets begin unraveling.. When She Returned is a psychological thriller written by an actual psychologist, which is what ultimately drew me in. Surely if anybody can write a psychological thriller, it's somebody who underwent years of schooling to understand the human mind and behaviour. Right?I have to admit: I skimmed over the "Then" sections out of pure boredom. They were jam-packed with useless dialogue and seemed kind of.... filler-ish. As if Lucinda Berry had a word goal, and those chapters were dedicated to meeting it. The cult itself was incredibly underdeveloped and underwhelming, and the ending was, too. I saw that plot twist coming from a mile away.I absolutely adored Meredith— and her sons, I suppose, though we don't see much of them. She was incredibly patient and understanding, even with her husband doting on another woman, and even with everybody snapping at her all the time. I guess I liked Abbi, too, since I could understand her excitement at finally meeting her mum and making memories with her once and for all. But you know who I pretty much always disliked? Scott. Meredith really deserves better.Overall, and even if some parts are predictable or frustrating, I enjoyed this book. If you're looking for a short thriller, try this one out!Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for providing me with a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Ali
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars...What a smart little book!It is not long but quite packed up with action twists and turns.It's the type of book you want to read in one sitting.Scott and Kate and Thier daughter Abbie had their perfectly set suburban life. Untill one day Kate vanished without trace.Years of grief, hope and search didn't bring Kate back but made Scott move on and settle with Meredith.All going in its usual pace until one day, as unexpectedly as Kate disappeared, she 3.5 stars...What a smart little book!It is not long but quite packed up with action twists and turns.It's the type of book you want to read in one sitting.Scott and Kate and Thier daughter Abbie had their perfectly set suburban life. Untill one day Kate vanished without trace.Years of grief, hope and search didn't bring Kate back but made Scott move on and settle with Meredith.All going in its usual pace until one day, as unexpectedly as Kate disappeared, she re-appearrs. Distraught, physically and mentally wounded, she also has a baby...Is it a new beginning of and old happy tale or a new start for a new nightmare?...I probably would have liked this book even more if not such unlikable characters.Kate is just a selfish delusional head case, Scott is not far behind - a selfish a**hole, who never once showed any empathy towards Meredith. Treating her like a spare tool, demanding her to be quite and obedient while he tip toe around his ex wife who is full of secrets, has no intention to cooperate and hides God knows what. Abbie is teenager, so hormones and childhood trauma of he mother's disappearance excuses a lot. A lot. But not everything.Meredith and her sons are the only likeable characters. Meredith has a heart and she is a very kind, very patient person.She is willing to wait, to adjust, to accommodate other people's needs before hers. She should have told Scott to get lost and come back when he finds his marbles.Overall, good read, will be checking more books by this author.
    more
  • Carla (Carla's Book Bits)
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to be approved on Netgalley for this book, because I read Lucinda Berry's previous release, The Perfect Child and really enjoyed it. Admittedly, I was anxious about how When She Returned was gonna be, and sadly, I was left a bit disappointed.The things I loved about The Perfect Child were sadly not all in this one. When She Returned feels a bit lacking in suspense. Once you have an idea what's going on, that's pretty much it, there are no surprises. And I just didn't have that mounting dread I was excited to be approved on Netgalley for this book, because I read Lucinda Berry's previous release, The Perfect Child and really enjoyed it. Admittedly, I was anxious about how When She Returned was gonna be, and sadly, I was left a bit disappointed.The things I loved about The Perfect Child were sadly not all in this one. When She Returned feels a bit lacking in suspense. Once you have an idea what's going on, that's pretty much it, there are no surprises. And I just didn't have that mounting dread that I loved so much from her previous book. With that said, I didn't feel like it was a chore to read this book, though. The characters were interesting and convincing enough to carry me though.Which brings me to my next point: I still like Lucinda Berry's writing style. Even though I was a bit disappointed by the story, that's just it. It's the story, and not the author that didn't gel with me. I will continue to eagerly read Lucinda Berry's other books in the future.I received an advanced copy from Netgalley, in exchange for a review.
    more
  • Danielle Russell
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. Such an intense thriller! I love how wonderfully creepy and disturbing it is. I'm a big fan of Lucinda Berry's. She grabs your attention right off the bat, and makes it hard to put down!
  • Octavia (ReadsWithDogs)
    January 1, 1970
    "We wanted to see if what we had was powerful enough to make someone give up the love they had for something greater." That quote sums up this book pretty well. A mother gives up her family (willingly or not? read to find out) and then escapes and returns 10 years later after her daughter has grown into a teenager and her husband has buried her and remarried.The book blurb hinted at a cult being involved in this story and I fucking love cult stories so I requested this. A cult is inv "We wanted to see if what we had was powerful enough to make someone give up the love they had for something greater." That quote sums up this book pretty well. A mother gives up her family (willingly or not? read to find out) and then escapes and returns 10 years later after her daughter has grown into a teenager and her husband has buried her and remarried.The book blurb hinted at a cult being involved in this story and I fucking love cult stories so I requested this. A cult is involved and that's half of the story, but the cult wasn't clearly defined. Maybe I just read too much and so I was underwhelmed by the culty bits because they followed a clear cult script and there wasn't anything new. A reader not as familiar with cults may find this more exciting.The toher half of the book that's not cult bits was family drama and that was more interesting, but could have been so much better. I wanted more perspective from Meredith (the new wife) on her husband's first wife's return from the dead. I saw the ending coming and *shrug*. A good fluff book to read if you're on an airplane or commuting and need a little distraction, but don't want to think too much.2.5 stars.
    more
  • Izzie d
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a bit odd.I thought some parts were good, it was multiple POV and the mystery is centre around the events of the wife's disappearance and return.It deals with a cult.The ending isn t a HEA, it doesn't really explain what happens next but the reader would assume certain events.My issue is the wife is indoctrinated by the cult behaviour and the things she undergoes are pretty horrific but there didn't seem to be understanding of that.Her actions are all This book was a bit odd.I thought some parts were good, it was multiple POV and the mystery is centre around the events of the wife's disappearance and return.It deals with a cult.The ending isn t a HEA, it doesn't really explain what happens next but the reader would assume certain events.My issue is the wife is indoctrinated by the cult behaviour and the things she undergoes are pretty horrific but there didn't seem to be understanding of that.Her actions are all influenced by that time away and she obviously isn t acting reasonably. I just wasn't happy.The living situation was ridiculous.
    more
  • Denise
    January 1, 1970
    Kate Bennett, married to Scott for 17 years and has a 5 year old daughter, seemingly vanishes one day. All of her belongings were left in the car in a Target parking lot. "She disappeared like a ghost, with her keys in the ignition and her purse on the passenger seat -- no sign of a struggle." An exhaustive search by the FBI and a massive press push turned up nothing and Scott was even a suspect for quite a time. After about four years, Scott and his daughter Abbi face the fact that Kate must be Kate Bennett, married to Scott for 17 years and has a 5 year old daughter, seemingly vanishes one day. All of her belongings were left in the car in a Target parking lot. "She disappeared like a ghost, with her keys in the ignition and her purse on the passenger seat -- no sign of a struggle." An exhaustive search by the FBI and a massive press push turned up nothing and Scott was even a suspect for quite a time. After about four years, Scott and his daughter Abbi face the fact that Kate must be dead and they move on. Years pass and eventually Scott meets, courts and marries a widow, Meredith, he met in a support group and they, along with Meredith's two older sons, form a family. In fact, they are newlyweds of about 10 months when the call comes: "She's alive." Kate and her 7-week-old baby girl, Shiloh, were found at a gas station in Montana. Throughout Kate's absence, her memory had been kept lovingly alive by Scott for his daughter, Abbi, who's now 16. Because they were childhood sweethearts, soul mates, and he absolutely adored Kate, Scott is a mess when he sees her in the hospital. She's been tortured and is experiencing PTSD. There's not much to do for Kate after she's physically restored except for her to go back to Arcata, California, with Scott, Meredith and Abbi. To her old home. Protected by local police and with FBI consultants staying in the house, it is discovered that Kate had been living in a cult for all these years. As Kate settles in with the baby, the household is in a bit of an uproar and slowly Kate opens up about her time with the group that calls themselves Love International. NO SPOILERS.This was quite the interesting story and I couldn't put it down so read in one sitting. The narrative shifts back and forth in time and between the points of view of Kate, Meredith and Abbi. The characters were all quite complex and no doubt you will have your favorites while others will try your sympathy. Since the revelations come slowly, you'll need some patience to get through some of the sections to get at the truth. I found the information about the cult quite fascinating and it is scary how the brainwashing is done and more so how effective it is. I liked the writing style and appreciate the fact that this book was written by a trauma psychologist and researcher in childhood trauma. Her expertise lends much credibility to this thrilling novel. I always read other reviews when I've finished writing mine and am surprised at the disparity between the ratings but what I'm looking for in a suspense tale is originality and edification and this met both. I hope you enjoy it is much as I did. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer for the e-book ARC to read and review.
    more
  • Sharon
    January 1, 1970
    A woman gone missing for 11 years returns to her family with a baby in tow, and the puzzle pieces of her life unfold in flashbacks all leading to the burning question. What really happened to Kate Bennett?As the reader, I really thought I figured it out. It seemed pretty straightforward, especially as Kate recounts her story. And, it's mesmerizing. At the center is a charismatic leader who Kate befriends while writing an article on his organization. To Kate's husband, Scott, her retu A woman gone missing for 11 years returns to her family with a baby in tow, and the puzzle pieces of her life unfold in flashbacks all leading to the burning question. What really happened to Kate Bennett?As the reader, I really thought I figured it out. It seemed pretty straightforward, especially as Kate recounts her story. And, it's mesmerizing. At the center is a charismatic leader who Kate befriends while writing an article on his organization. To Kate's husband, Scott, her return is miraculous. To Kate's daughter, Abbi, her return is an opportunity to reconnect with an almost mythical person. To Scott's new wife, Meredith, Kate's return is uncomfortable and unsettling. Kate herself appears fragile, scarred, and yet tenacious. She has survived insurmountable odds, physical torture, and psychological manipulation. This profile reveals a lot about the person she has become.Where this story really hits the high note is close to the end with a surprise twist that left me mouth agape. Say what?! The author did a good job of lulling me into believing one thing and then, wham!, mic drop. Well done!Thanks to #Netgalley for the ARC of #WhenSheReturned!
    more
  • Carrie Carter
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this mystery thriller but I don‘t want to give too much away. Super short summary is a mother disappears for numerous years to return and find her husband and daughter have a new family. And of course there are lots of secrets involved.Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer, for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.
    more
  • Cynthia
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsSPOILERS IN REVIEW11 years after Kate Bennett goes missing, leaving a husband and young daughter behind, she is found in a gas station parking lot, desperate for help, clutching an infant close to her chest. She is reunited with her family, although her husband has remarried and her daughter has grown up, while the police investigate the shocking circumstances behind her disappearance.When She Returned is a carefully developed psychological family dra 3.5 starsSPOILERS IN REVIEW11 years after Kate Bennett goes missing, leaving a husband and young daughter behind, she is found in a gas station parking lot, desperate for help, clutching an infant close to her chest. She is reunited with her family, although her husband has remarried and her daughter has grown up, while the police investigate the shocking circumstances behind her disappearance.When She Returned is a carefully developed psychological family drama with many thought-provoking points. While I’ve no doubt that Lucinda Berry’s background as a psychologist contributes to the depth of her stories, education and experience don’t always lead to understanding and empathy. These qualities are wholly Berry’s and they bring immense power into her work. This makes it incredibly difficult to define why the story was just okay for me. It explored a topic that I find incredibly interesting and multiple perspectives were presented, which added to the emotional complexity of the narrative. Yet, I struggled to feel engaged for first half of the book. This is definitely a slow burn novel and, admittedly, I hadn’t expected to encounter any twists after the first several chapters. I was both surprised and satisfied with the way things took off in the second half. One thing I do wish had been different within the story’s building process was the development of the manipulation. I felt Ray moved too quickly from a charming man to a frightening cult leader. I fully believe both components of his character were accurately portrayed and although Kate’s vulnerability was apparent, it felt like she was swayed too quickly, which made the rest feel less credible. I would have liked to see their relationship develop more while he was still being saccharine. His mistreatment seemed too abrupt, in terms of subtle manipulation. I understood what was supposed to be happening and why. I just couldn’t connect with it and, for me, that lack of development was the problem. With all that being said, there were other areas that were well-developed and did make sense to me, including Kate’s dependence on everyone else’s view of Ray within the religious movement. I get it. Kate looking to them for guidance and taking their silence as approval of his actions made sense to me. I can see why she stayed. I can see why she dismissed and devalued her own concerns. I can see why she was confused.I think Berry is a fantastic and insightful writer. She addresses important topics and gives the reader an opportunity to understand how circumstances we shake our heads over end up occurring. She definitely understands how fragile human beings are. I think anyone interested in human behavior, family dramas, and an understanding of cult dynamics will get a lot out of this unique and heartbreaking story.Thank you Thomas Mercer for an advance readers copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
    more
  • Jillian
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn’t say that this was a thriller as much as a domestic drama. Either way, the story kept me interested and engaged throughout. This is about a woman, Kate, who suddenly returns to her family after being gone 10 years. Her husband is remarried and she has one daughter. The chapters move fast covering the points of view of Kate, her daughter Abbi, and the new wife Meredith. I don’t want to give too much away but the circumsta Thanks to Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review. I wouldn’t say that this was a thriller as much as a domestic drama. Either way, the story kept me interested and engaged throughout. This is about a woman, Kate, who suddenly returns to her family after being gone 10 years. Her husband is remarried and she has one daughter. The chapters move fast covering the points of view of Kate, her daughter Abbi, and the new wife Meredith. I don’t want to give too much away but the circumstances of Kate’s disappearance are interesting and I was engaged throughout the book. Great story.
    more
  • Lex Nuttall
    January 1, 1970
    A different psychological tale which gets you hooked. This book one filled with emotion, drama and gripping twists. It’s different to any psychologically I have recently read and for that, it got a full five stars from me. Upon starting the book, it instantly pulled me in and was easy to read, get lost in and I really understand the depth of he characters struggles. If you are looking to read something that’s a bit different to your usual psychological story but still have plenty of juicy chunks A different psychological tale which gets you hooked. This book one filled with emotion, drama and gripping twists. It’s different to any psychologically I have recently read and for that, it got a full five stars from me. Upon starting the book, it instantly pulled me in and was easy to read, get lost in and I really understand the depth of he characters struggles. If you are looking to read something that’s a bit different to your usual psychological story but still have plenty of juicy chunks to get hooked in, this is the book for you.
    more
  • Marsha
    January 1, 1970
    What a superb thriller! I love how the narrative alternates between Kate, the abducted wife, and Meredith, Scott's new wife, as well as Abbi, Kate and Scott's daughter. Such nuanced and believably developed characters are rarely found in commercial fiction, but I guess that's because not many are written by a trauma psychologist. Tense, tight, believable and compassionate. Brava!
    more
  • Jaki
    January 1, 1970
    Bad ending. Unlikeable characters continually being stupid. Shades of Manson. Premise interesting, but the twist is seen a mile away, and the ending was ridiculous.
  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.This is a disturbing and sometimes creepy psychological puzzle - and I couldn’t put it down. Told from three perspectives - two in the present and one in the past, the book explores a family shattered by a mother’s disappearance and reappearance 11 years later. It’s a difficult and intense read but I loved the way the pieces of this dark puzzle slowly fell into place.I love that none of the narrators in t I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.This is a disturbing and sometimes creepy psychological puzzle - and I couldn’t put it down. Told from three perspectives - two in the present and one in the past, the book explores a family shattered by a mother’s disappearance and reappearance 11 years later. It’s a difficult and intense read but I loved the way the pieces of this dark puzzle slowly fell into place.I love that none of the narrators in this story are entirely reliable. The teenage daughter Abbi’s voice is probably the most honest - but she acknowledges that she only knows her mother through her father’s stories. Interestingly, readers only know the father’s story through the voices of the female narrators. Kate’s voice is terribly flawed and her narrative constantly challenges readers. As readers, we know more about Kate’s experiences during her disappearance than the other two narrators do - but we can’t trust her explanations and I was constantly re-evaluating my reactions and my feelings towards her. The stepmother, Meredith, attempts to come across as a neutral observer - but she’s highly invested in the situation. I’m not sure any of the three adult characters are likeable - but the most disturbing thing for me is that each of them has moments when they feel human and relatable. It’s difficult to review this type of novel without spoilers. It is a compelling read - but there were elements of the story which I struggled to find plausible. I don’t feel like we see enough to understand how the strong journalist we meet in the beginning - a woman who resents giving up her career to stay home with a young child - makes the decisions she does later in the book. There are a few threads left hanging at the end and I’m not sure whether they needed tying up or if it’s better that we’re left wondering if or how the family moves on from such a horrific incident.
    more
  • Avid Reader
    January 1, 1970
    When She Returned by Lucinda Berry4 starsM/F Psychological ThrillerTriggers: Rape, Child Brides, Cult, Kidnapping, MurderI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.Kate and Scott have been married for a while now. They know each other so well, that sometimes, they know each other better than they know themselves. But, Kate is keeping a big secret from Scott. She's unhappy in their current situation. She misses working. Kate loves their daughter When She Returned by Lucinda Berry4 starsM/F Psychological ThrillerTriggers: Rape, Child Brides, Cult, Kidnapping, MurderI was given this book for an honest review by Wicked Reads.Kate and Scott have been married for a while now. They know each other so well, that sometimes, they know each other better than they know themselves. But, Kate is keeping a big secret from Scott. She's unhappy in their current situation. She misses working. Kate loves their daughter, Abbi, but wants to get back to work. Scott wants Kate to love being a stay at home mom and can't truly understand why she isn't fulfilled.Abbi is only five years old when her mom goes missing. Years later, Kate is found clinging to a new baby, wandering from the woods.What follows is a tale that unravels and boggles the mind. Was Kate kidnapped and held against her will? It sure seems that she has lived through trauma that renders her unable to fully integrate back in to society. Meanwhile, her family is left to help her pick up the pieces and adjust their own lives. Scott has remarried and Abbi, despite not being incredibly grateful for her new family life, Abbi is just trying to catch her own breath. For me, Scott treated his wife, Meredith with extreme disdain. I had a very difficult time getting past that. Despite all that has happened in their lives, he was a very poor example of a husband, in my opinion. This psychological thriller did keep you on your toes. I think that if Scott and Abbi, even Meredith had been stronger characters, I would have enjoyed the book more. But, the wishy-washines of those three characters made me wish for something different.
    more
Write a review