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Gone Tonight

By Sarah Pekkanen

A Mother and Daughter’s Story of Resolve and Resilience



Ruth Sterling, 42, is exhausted every night when she comes home after her waitressing shift.  She does it all for her daughter, Catherine, 24.  It’s just the two of them, and Ruth has done and will do whatever it takes to keep Catherine safe.  Catherine doesn’t understand why her mother is so secretive about her past, constantly changing apartments, and so controlling.  Catherine is now a recent nursing school graduate and can’t wait to start her new job in a new city, all by herself.

But Ruth has recently been showing classic signs of dementia.  The two visited a doctor who agreed with the diagnosis.  Catherine, whose nursing specialty is dementia and Alzheimer’s, decides she will forgo her new job to stay and take care of her mom.  Ruth seems to be going downhill rapidly.  Maybe Catherine can get ahold of Ruth’s family to help, but her mother has told her nothing about her family or childhood.  Catherine desperately wants to reach out to them to get some help.  But Catherine’s secret research puts them both in the middle of the danger from her past that Ruth has been trying desperately to keep them away from.


GONE TONIGHT is a book about resolve and resilience.  Ruth hides from her past, while Catherine tries to create her future.  Ruth and Catherine are as close as a mother and daughter can be, but secrets still exist between them.

The book has a nice rhythm to it.  The story is told from alternating points of view between Catherine and Ruth and skillfully delves into Ruth’s secret past as a cornerstone of the story.  Author Sarah Pekkanen’s writing is intriguing and cleverly layered.  She keeps your head in the story.

The story is memorable, showcasing a mother/daughter relationship and the incredible depth a mother will go to to protect her child and outrun her past.  Ruth and Catherine’s characters were interesting.  They propelled the narrative with perseverance, tenancy, and resilience.

Pekkanen has written eight contemporary fiction novels and co-authored four bestselling thrillers.  The audiobook narrator Kate Mara’s performance and voice align with the story’s tone.  Her delivery and her pacing is superb, and she keeps listeners engaged.

Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan Audio for an advance copy of this audiobook.  All opinions expressed here are my own.

Publisher  Macmillan Audio

Published  August 1, 2023

Narrated   Kate Marra

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