When She Returned

When She Returned

by Lucinda Berry


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781542092920
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 298
Sales rank: 255,510
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Dr. Lucinda Berry is a trauma psychologist and leading researcher in childhood trauma. She uses her clinical experience to create disturbing psychological thrillers, blurring the line between fiction and nonfiction. She enjoys taking her readers on journeys through the dark recesses of the human psyche.

If Berry isn’t chasing after her ten-year-old son, you can find her running through Los Angeles, prepping for her next marathon. To hear about her upcoming releases, visit her on Facebook or sign up for her newsletter at https://about.me/lucindaberry.

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When She Returned 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Ms-Hurst 5 months ago
When She Returned was not what I expected. Kate and Scott seemed perfect. They had been childhood sweethearts, literally, close since they were 9. They married and had a child and were happy. Maybe. 11 years ago, when their daughter was just 5, Kate disappeared. Scott and Abbi looked for her for years. Finally, Scott let himself move on and marry again. Just after, Kate returns with an infant. She's been tortured and starved. The story unfolds through the eyes of three narrators. The three women of the story. Abbi and Meredith, Scott's second wife, tell the story as it unfolds now. We see what happened to Kate in the past from before she disappeared to just before her escape. As her story moves through the past, we see how she became obsessed. The question as you are reading now is, is she still obsessed? I don't really want to tell more of the story than that. Just enjoy it. I was expecting something more along the lines of the two wives tangling with each other. There was some of that. It would have been impossible for that not to be there. But the focus was how the women were interacting with each other and with the men who connected them all. There was a connection between Ray, the cult leader, and Scott. Both seemed to consider themselves the last word on what happened with their families. Both did not listen to or consider the voices of the women around them. Abbi, the 16 year old, was the only one not afraid to not go along with it. Hope for the future? I loved that she was portrayed as a confused person and not just a brat. The second wife was conflicted and honest. How do you react when your husband's dead wife shows up? Thank you to Netgalley, Lucinda Berry, and Thomas & Mercer for the ARC in exchange for my honest review. I hope to read more by the author in the future.
lsmoore_43 5 months ago
This book absolutely blew my socks off. It is my first by this author and believe me I do look forward to reading more. This one held me captive from start to dramatic finish. It’s told from the three females POV. The victim, Kate, who went missing eleven years before. Just vanished from a Target parking lot. No struggle, nothing taken, her phone and purse and even her keys still in the car. It’s like she just disappeared from the face of the Earth. Her story is told from back when she went missing and tells where she was and why she was there. What happened to her and all the emotions she had. Some crazy things she endured. It was not good. Meredith, the second wife, who was the most understanding women I have ever seen. There were times that I thought she should have just told Tom to kiss off and walk out the door. Now I understand he was happy that his first wife, who was the love of his life since they were just children had returned after so long and had been through hell and back. But enough is enough. He treated Meredith terribly. I don’t think he, deep down, meant to be so mean, but let’s be real. A woman does not appreciate being totally pushed away after she gives you her heart and has been there for you at times when no one else has. I truly felt sorry for her and at times thought she should tell them all to get out. Just leave her alone. But that was not her way and she turned out to be such a strong woman. I had a love/hate feeling for this woman and a pity/proud feeling. She tried so hard to keep things balanced and grounded. Abbi the daughter. She was only five years old when her mom disappeared. She had memories from watching home movies, pictures and things her dad told her. She did a some that a child of that age might possible be able to have stored in their minds. She was so happy and excited when her mom came back. She worried all the time about something happening and just wanted them to all protect her mom at all costs. She wanted to be a part of the process that was going on to get her mom back to her former self after all the horrible things she had been through. Abbi was a typical sixteen year old who just wanted people to get along and wanted her mom to feel safe again. I think she was a little bit rude to Meredith, but to be fair most teens are rude to their parents at that age. She was confused at this point about everything and was doing her best to keep her mom around. Tom, the husband and dad.... I felt awful for him. He was in a terrible situation and had no idea what to do. He didn’t have much back bone in certain parts of this book but he did try. To me he was not good to his wife. His current wife. He excluded her almost completely. He would not listen when she said things and that came back to bite him. Even though he and Kate had been friends from a very young age, and been high school sweethearts, does not make them the perfect couple. Things chance in almost all relationships. Kate wanted to work. He didn’t want her too. She was bored staying home all day. He should have listened to her. But was it his fault what happened to her? No he was not. He did love her. He tried so hard to find her and it took him years before he would declare her dead and move on. Remarry. Make a new life. But still in the home he and Kate had made. I didn’t like that. But it sure made the story more interesting. I really liked this book. #NetGalley
Renwarsreads 7 months ago
Thanks to Netgalley for the ebook version of this book in return for a review. I've always had a fascination and been terrified of cults at the same time. This story deals with a family trying to handle the mothers return from a cult after many years assumed missing and her backstory about how she became involved with the cult in the first place. Lucinda does a great job covering each of the female family members feelings with sections in each persons own words.
CrystalKL 8 months ago
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read a copy of When She Returned. This book grabbed me from the beginning and didn't let go. It was refreshing to read a book that was totally not predictable and ordinary.
laur3296 9 months ago
Loved this book! I loved the premise. A woman goes missing, is declared dead and returns years later. I loved the alternating view points - the missing woman, the new wife and the daughter take turns telling their side of the story. I am a sucker for a book with alternating viewpoints, and I loved these characters. Their thoughts and actions rang true. Did I agree with everyone? No, but their actions rang true to who they seemed to be. Not only did we have alternating viewpoint,s but we have different timelines. We slowly see what happened to her as we see how everyone deals with her return. I loved the twists. I thought I knew where this was going, but I was wrong. Then I thought I had it figured out again and I was in for another surprise. I loved the writing. I was engrossed in this book and it kept me saying the magic words in the book world "just one more chapter". I lost a bit of sleep since I needed to know what happened next. I received this as an advance copy from #netgalley and this did not affect my review. I can prove it by now going to see if this author wrote anything else. (Did I mention that I loved this book?)
Suesyn Zellmer 10 months ago
I have to say that I expected a bit more from this book, as this is one of my favorite authors. She has a way with telling dark stories that aren't always comfortable and do not have happy endings. They are realistic and straightforward, often making you questions deep seated, long-held beliefs. With this story, I felt that it was too much of 'what you see is what you get' and there was no surprises or twists beyond what you expect. The subject matter seemed a little lighter than usual, at least partly, as the cult brainwashing that affects the main character, Kate, is easily foreseeable and well known. You think that where she has been after she disappeared will be a long reveal, but you find out pretty early on. How exactly it happens is not revealed until later, with the expected dramatic fallout ensuing. The story alternates from how she was groomed to become a member in the past, and how her family deals with the return of her and her new baby in the present. Kate's husband is now remarried to a very (as in, too) understanding new woman named Meredith and Kate's daughter, Abbi, is now 16 and barely remembers her mother from before she disappeared. Everyone is as uncomfortable as you would expect and has no idea what will happen after they move her into their home, which is still the house that she lived in. I thought her initiation into the cult was a little rapid for a seemingly intelligent woman. Almost as if she was just a bored housewife losing interest in her husband who jumps at the first opportunity at a new life. It doesn't reflect well on her character and naivete, as she too easily believes everything she is told. The new wife is also way too accepting of her husband's attachment to Kate. Yes, he & Kate were first loves, soulmates, etc. but he refuses to discuss how it affects his relationship with Meredith and how he's always pushing her aside. There's only so much understanding and empathy you can show before you would stand up for yourself, which doesn't happen. I didn't expect this author to portray her female characters as such weak creatures. I would still recommend the book, but with the caveat that it won't be as you expect from her past works. And if this is your first time reading this author, you will be pleasantly surprised by her other stories!
Shoeguru 11 months ago
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.
Jolene13 11 months ago
Lucinda Berry has easily become a favorite author of mine. Every book she rights sucks you in from the very beginning, When She Returned entails a story surrounding a cult, which I always find interesting.. She is able to tell a very believable tale that you know in real life there are families who have come face to face with the same issues. I always highly recommended Lucinda Berry's books and this one is no different.
tradeoff 11 months ago
A long- missing woman retirement home too the loving arms of the daughter who barely remember her and the husband's who remarried after she been presumed dead . But the real story of where she was and why she came back is the heart of this well-told story
Anonymous 11 months ago
Very good book. It was dark and surprising, yet completely logical. The setup was done very well. I had not anticipated the ending, and yet, it made perfect sense. Good character development. The main thing that kept me from leaving five stars for this novel was that rather than 'shocking' or 'thrilling', I found 'When She Returned' to be depressing. I would definitely read more from this author. Thank you the NetGalley, the publisher, and Lucinda Berry for an ARC of When She Returned in exchange for an honest review.
JamieS 11 months ago
Thank you NetGalley for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. To start with all I can say is wow wow wow! This book grabbed me from the first pages and kept me eager to read and learn what was going to happen. What would you do if after 11 years your loved one, who has been missing, returned? This is what happens when Kate returns to the lives Scott (husband) and Abbi (daughter) have built after 11 year. It was a very interesting story line and when I though that I had it figured out, I find I was wrong!! I've read several of this authors books and when I finish one I think no way can she top this one...but she does! Being a traumatic psychologist really shows in the books because she draws you deep into the story. I thought I knew how it was going to end but again, I was wrong! I highly recommend this book, but don't start it in the evening or you will be up until the wee hours reading! Can't wait for her next book!!!
JillB1 11 months ago
Lucinda Berry writes some of the darkest, creepiest thrillers of them all. This is my fourth Berry novel and I was expecting another brutally realistic story - and i got a believable extreme one! A woman, kidnapped a dozen years ago, suddenly reappears and the world she left is upturned on her return. Plunged into her new world she and I were trapped all over again. Excellent, excellent, excellent.
theawordbookreview 11 months ago
When She Returned by Dr. Lucinda Berry Dr. Lucinda Berry is one of my favorite thriller authors. Her expertise in trauma psychology always shines through and never disappoints in her writing style. When She Returned was no exception. I was drawn into the book from the very beginning. Kate, the wife and mother who seemingly vanished into thin air reappears after 11 years, with a baby. This leaves her now remarried husband, his new wife, and Kates teenage daughter reeling. As they try to pick up the pieces, help Kate and find a new semblance of normalcy, their world continues to shatter as they learn Kate left of her own accord and has been with a cult her entire 11 years away. The book is written from the point of view of Kate, her husband’s new wife Meredith, and Kates teenage daughter Abbi. It is in a Then and now format, which flows seamlessly and really ties the book together and drives home the power cults can have over their followers. It gives just a small inside view of what both cult followers and the families they left behind go through. The emotions of the characters were raw, relate-able and well developed. The plot, although somewhat predictable, left room for a twist. However, the ending left a lot to be desired and did not seem quite up to par with the rest of the book. It seemed to end rathe abruptly and I was left with several questions. What happened to the cult leader? The baby? The rest of the cult followers? These are all questions that are left open to the readers imagination. I do believe though, that even with the unanswered questions, Dr. Berry has another hit on her hands. I received this book as an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to Dr. Lucinda Berry and the publisher for this opportunity.
Mimiphilly 11 months ago
This ARC was courtesy of netgalley - all thoughts and opinions are mine and unbiased I also post to Amazon, goodreads, Kobo and B&N Loved the book - I found myself immersed in this very quickly and was so engrossed I didn't see the end coming!! A wonderful read
Vanessa Howell 11 months ago
Lucinda Berry does it again with her newest gripping psychological thriller! Set in California, the story alternates between when Kate disappears to when she is found 11 years later in Montana. When Kate vanished, her daughter was only five years old. Told from multiple perspectives, Kate’s story begins to unravel and keeps you guessing along the way. Like Barry’s past novels, When She Returned is easy to read and hard to put down. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves psychological thrillers. Thank you, Net Galley, for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
LlamaJen 11 months ago
Loved it! I was hooked from the very start. Ray/Abner was simply crazy and the people who followed his every word were just as insane. Whatever came out of Ray's mouth his loyal followers took it as truth and just did as he commanded. The rebirth scene with the blankets was scary and I can't believe they participated in it, actually I do believe it because his followers were hard core crazies!!! My favorite character was definitely Meredith. She was the voice of reason. I felt bad for her. She has been there for Scott and Abbi for many years, while Kate was nowhere to be seen. The more I got to know Kate, the more I disliked her (even before all the brainwashing). Loved the ending!!! I can't imagine what Scott and Abbi felt when they realized the truth about Kate and what she was attempting to do. The Kate who returned to them was not the Kate they expected. Loved the story, characters and writing style. Look forward to reading more books by the author. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas & Mercer through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
booklover- 11 months ago
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.
MistysCornerReviews 11 months ago
I was hooked from the very beginning! 5/5 stars! A mother running for her and her young child's life, barefoot and determined; running with a certain level of physical endurance that only a parent could truly understand. After all, haven't almost all of us envisioned ourselves doing exactly that, protecting our child(ren) at all costs? We try to mentally prepare for the worst while hoping and praying that it never comes. Could we do it, whatever it takes? As a mom myself it wasn't hard to try and place myself in her shoes during that opening scene and truly root for their survival. That pure maternal instinct is exactly the type of feeling you get from the story's opening character Kate, at least at first. Kate is the mother to the seven-week-old infant in her arms and, we shortly find out, sixteen-year-old Abbi. Abbi's mother had gone missing from a Target parking lot when she was five years old, she had grown up fantasizing and memorializing her mother's memory with her father Scott year after year. While attending grief counseling, Scott met Meredith, who was also experiencing the loss of a spouse. While Meredith's husband had definitively passed away leaving her a widow and single mom to two grown boys, Scott never truly gave up hope on Kate - even after having her declared legally deceased. My heart broke for them, the daughter missing her mother, the husband missing his wife. Now newlyweds, eleven years after Kate's disappearance, who should show up states away but a disheveled Kate and her newborn, Shiloh. Meredith was an easy character to become invested in, as the story grew I felt drawn to her thoughts, wondering what if? What if this incredible reunion wasn't as picture-perfect as Scott and Abbi would like to believe? It wasn't hard to wonder "what if", especially as the tale unfolded I found myself constantly questioning Kate's motives myself. The only character I had a hard time with was Scott; his complete lack of empathy towards Meredith throughout the story and inability to put his foot down with Abbi (in the end) just didn't sit right. When it came to Abbi, oh I just wanted to pull her out of the book and hug her to pieces. Her innocence and willingness to go to any lengths to create memories with her long lost mother just broke my heart. "When She Returned" takes you on a whirlwind of emotions, as Lucinda Berry's books often do! There's the utter sadness and despair of loss and the unknown, the shock and almost pure happiness of return, the uncertainty of how to proceed with looming skepticism and finally the absolute horror while coming to terms with the severity of the situation. Plus, who could forget the ultimate twist at the end! This title earned its 5 Stars without a doubt! If you're anything like me and enjoy a good story that truly pushes you to the edge of your seat in suspense where you literally can't turn (or rather swipe) the pages fast enough then you need to experience Lucinda Berry's newest and utterly unputdownable book, "When She Returned". The fact that this author is an actual trauma psychologist is what first drew me to her literary work, the experience she provides is why I (and so many others) just keep coming back for more! Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher Thomas & Mercer, and the author Lucinda Berry for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. #WhenSheReturned #LucindaBerry #NetGalley
MKF 11 months ago
Scott and Abi dealt with a lot of emotional difficulties after Kate disappeared. A journalist, she had set off after a story and then poof- was gone. Eleven years later, she's turned up in Montana of all places, malnourished, abused, and carrying a child. Now Scott and Abi= and equally importantly, Meredith, Scott's new wife-have to find a new path for their family. Told from their perspectives and in a then and now way, this is a good read which might keep you guessing about what really happened. What's clear early on is that Kate was complicit in her own disappearance but how reliable is she as a narrator now? Thanks to net galley for the ARC. This is a fast read with an interesting premise and good characters. Can you imagine being Abi?
Owl_Books 11 months ago
This is the first book I've read by this author. Before I even finished, I was already on amazon looking at (and downloading) some of her other books. I enjoyed the story, even if some parts were predictable. If you are looking for an enteratining, fast read ... this is for you. Thank you #netgalley and #Thomas & Mercer for the eARC.