Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review & Giveaway - She's Gone by Joye Emmens


She’s Gone

by Joye Emmens 



It’s 1969. Jolie stands on the deck of her parents’ Santa Barbara home watching an uncontrolled oil spill. She’s outraged and motivated to do something about it. Jolie’s father may be an oil executive, but that doesn’t stop her from hitchhiking to the harbor and joining an anti-oil drilling protest. 

When a television broadcast shows her protesting, Jolie’s father prohibits any more involvement. This fuels the fire burning inside of her, and she flees home with Will, her older, activist boyfriend. Idealistic and ready for anything, Jolie follows Will and his big promises into the sixties’ cultural revolution to create a better society. 

Thrown into an adult world, Jolie lies about her age and identity and quickly discovers that nearly everything is more complicated than it seems on the surface—Will included. In this psychological love story, Jolie’s emotional journey from California to the East Coast, is one of pain, resilience, fear, and hope, as she navigates an increasingly controlling boyfriend and her own personal convictions. 

Filled with colorful settings, characters, and the music of the times, She’s Gone is an authentic and heartfelt story of self-discovery that follows a young woman’s spiritual odyssey through the domestic unrest of the Vietnam War, the start of the environmental movement, and the Women’s Liberation Movement. Many of the social and political issues continue to be relevant today.


Pattie fidgeted with her spoon and coffee cup, glancing repeatedly at Jolie. “Let’s hit the road. I want to be in Portland tonight, and we have no idea where this so-called ranch is.” 

Will turned to a page in his notebook. Cryptic directions were scrawled on the bottom of a song he was writing. 

“X marks the spot.” Will pointed to a small x drawn at the end of a squiggly line. 

From Dunsmuir they drove toward Sawyers Bar through Fort Jones and Etna. The pavement ended abruptly, and a cloud of dust enveloped the car. They had gone too far. Pattie did a U-turn and slowed when they came upon a store, a phone booth, a ranger station, a few houses, and a small post office. 

“This is the middle of nowhere,” Pattie said. “I thought you said it was a short detour?” 

Jolie peered out the back window. “Do people really live here?” Where was the ranch? She’d imagined a horse ranch off the side of the highway with a white fence that ran for miles and horses galloping wild and free. 

Will looked at the map and guided them on. They turned off the main dirt road onto a rutted one lane track. “The ranch is eight miles ahead.” 

“This is so primitive. I’m not sure my car will make it,” Pattie said. 

“I’ll drive,” Will said. 

After switching drivers, Will drove, up and up, mile after mile, until they reached a crest. “Look at this.” Will stopped the car. When the dust settled, they got out and looked over the valley. Folds upon folds of blue green mountains were stacked against each other as far as they could see. Small cloud wisps wrapped the far off peaks. An emerald green river snaked through the lush fir and pine forest far below. 

The tightness in Jolie’s stomach relaxed. Two brown and gold mosaic-patterned hawks rode air currents, floating effortlessly in large meandering circles over the forest valley. They were free, and she was free. Free from her parents. Free from Saint Mary’s. 

“Are you sure about the directions?” Pattie turned the ring on her finger over and over. “I mean, there is nothing out there.” 

Will nodded. “I trust my friends.” 

They drove on, bumping down the twisted mountain, granite cliffs on one side and the green winding river far below on the other. A rusted brown station wagon lay overturned partway down the mountain. Jolie closed her eyes to calm her stomach. The drop-off was dizzying. If the wheel got too close to the loose edge it would be all over. Will inched down the rutted road, navigating hairpin turns for three more miles. At the bottom, the forest opened up and the road ended in a meadow. 

Will parked in the grass. “We have arrived.”

Author Joye Emmons wrote a excellent tale of Jolie, a young girl bordering on adulthood, who runs off with her much older boyfriend, Will, in She's Gone.

Will is an activist and the time period is during the days of bell-bottom jeans, love beads, headbands and protests. Protests against pretty much everything with the way of life in America at the time.
Emmens gives very detailed and colorful descriptions of the people, places and behaviors in this story. This wonderful story swept me back to my teen years. Unlike Jolie, I never had the courage to just go off to a commune. Having read this tale, I was right not to go. The one thing that bothered me about Jolie is her lack of concern over what her parents must be going through since she ran off. Sure, there is some guilt but it appears to be short lived.

The journey Jolie takes, the advantage taken of her inexperience by Will, is full of trials and tribulations and I could barely put the book down.  Even if you didn't live in the 60's, this tale will give you a real taste of the time. I give this story a 5 star rating and highly recommend She's Gone. ~JoEllen 

AUTHOR Bio and Links: 

Joye Emmens was born in Santa Barbara, California. She enjoyed a successful career in environmental health before joining Amgen, a biotechnology company that researches and develops cures for serious illnesses. After ten years, she left Amgen to pursue a lifelong dream to write fiction. She lives in Ventura, California with her husband. Her two sons and grandson live in Seattle. Joye volunteers as a Big Sister and mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.




Joye will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Follow the tour HERE


  1. Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

    1. Hi Mai,
      I haven't collaborated. It might be fun though.

  2. Thank you for hosting and reviewing my book, She's Gone!

  3. Thanks everyone! Check out my website for more info.

  4. i enjoyed reading the blurb/excerpt.

  5. Great excerpt, this sounds really good! Entering under the name of Virginia

  6. I enjoyed reading the excerpt and review, thank you!