He’s Gone: Reviews « Deb Caletti
Deb Caletti
Deb Caletti

He’s Gone: Reviews

“YA veteran and National Book Award finalist Caletti (The Story of Us, 2012, etc.) makes a striking adult debut with this tale of a husband’s mysterious disappearance. When Dani Keller wakes up with a pounding headache after too much wine and a couple of Vicodin at a tense party at husband Ian’s software company, she isn’t terribly surprised not to find him next to her. She vaguely remembers an argument the night before, and Ian is the punishing sort who seethes in silence or absents himself when she’s displeased him. The couple met when married to others—angry, abusive Mark and party-throwing, hard-drinking, free-spending Mary—and the resultant divorces scandalized their affluent Seattle suburb. Now they’re married and living on a houseboat on Lake Union; her daughter, Abby, likes Ian well enough, but Kristen and particularly Bethy have never forgiven Ian for leaving their mother and bitterly blame Dani. Indeed, Bethy accuses her hated stepmother of doing away with Daddy, and the worst of it is, Dani can’t deny it with total conviction. As Ian’s absence lengthens into weeks, her memories slowly paint a devastating portrait of two damaged people who clutch at each other for rescue but soon discover that their problems are deeper than unsatisfying marriages. Ian will never be successful enough for his hypercritical father, and Dani spends her life trying to make people who mistreat her feel better. She’s never had the courage to be alone, until Ian’s disappearance leaves her sick with fear and remorse. Could she have been angry and wasted enough to do him harm? Though the opening pages seem to promise a suspense novel—and the close delivers a well-executed plot twist—this is in essence the story of a woman’s growing self-knowledge, perfectly executed at an appropriately measured pace. Caletti softens the stark message that love doesn’t necessarily change anything with her compassion and understanding for Ian as well as Dani. Well-written, strongly characterized and emotionally complex fiction.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“Readers will find themselves swept up by the crisis, made palpable by Caletti’s believable characters and their raw emotions. As much a gripping emotional thriller as it is a book about love and relationships, Caletti’s newest work will please old fans and garner new ones.”

“What makes this beautifully-written page turner such a gift is the countless, deftly-offered insights into the subterranean inner workings of a marriage, a mind, a heart. It will make you think about your own secrets–the ones you keep even from yourself, as we all do–and have just a little more courage to look at them. Gripping, honest, illuminating. I couldn’t put it down.”
–Juliette Fay, author of Shelter Me

“Psychologically spot-on, He’s Gone explores the baffling nuances of the choices we make, as light as butterfly wings, but weighing us down with consequences in the end. I was racing through the pages, breathless, to find out what really happened. With He’s Gone, Deb Caletti doesn’t just make a stunning debut into adult fiction, she throws down the gauntlet. It’s a mesmerizing novel.”
–Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells and The Girl Who Chased the Moon

“The mysterious disappearance of a husband serves as the backdrop for a thought-provoking and moving exploration of all the things that can be lost within the boundaries of a marriage. With grace and insight, Caletti digs deep into the needs and misdeeds of individuals as they strive to create lives together.”
–Erica Bauermeister, New York Times bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients

He’s Gone is a masterful mix of gripping, page-turning suspense and a revealing examination of an intense and complicated relationship. Deb Caletti is an author fully in command of her craft, confidently delivering an absolutely unputdownable novel. One of the best books I’ve read all year.”
–Barbara O’Neal, author of The Garden of Happy Endings