Mary Jennifer Payne is the author of Finding Jade, Book One in the Daughters of Light Series, the YA novel Since You’ve Been Gone, and several YA graphic novels. Her writing has been published in journals, anthologies, and magazines in Canada and abroad. She teaches special education with the Toronto District School Board and lives in Toronto.
Since You’ve Been Gone
CCBC’s Best Books for Kids & Teens (Fall 2015) - Commended
Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser searches for her mother, who has gone missing shortly after the two moved to London, England, to escape Edie’s abusive father.
Is it possible to outrun your past? Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, have been trying to do just that for five years. Now, things have gone from bad to worse. Not only has Edie had to move to another new school — she’s in a different country.
Sydney promises her that this is their chance at a fresh start, and Edie does her best to adjust to life in London, England, despite being targeted by the school bully. But when Sydney goes out to work the night shift and doesn’t come home, Edie is terrified that the past has finally caught up with them.
Alone in a strange country, Edie is afraid to call the police for fear that she’ll be sent back to her abusive father. Determined to find her mother but with no idea where to start, she must now face the most difficult decision of her life.
“…the unflinching portrayal of Edie’s experience (and well-earned anger) is what makes her story so believable. The author manages to create a feeling of adventure while still respecting the pain and stress [Edie] is undergoing…this is fresh, tough writing that meets young readers where they live.”
“This Canadian import makes for a quick, exciting read.”
“Since You’ve Been Gone is fast-paced and compelling … [the book] will appeal to anyone who likes realistic contemporary stories about youth facing difficult circumstances.”
“This is a splendid book, full of mystery, adventure, and love.”