Oct 26

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts are my own.


Leave Me

by Gayle Forman



International bestselling author Gayle Forman’s trademark humor and insight abound in this masterful adult debut, showing us that sometimes you have to leave home in order to find it again.

For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention–meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterward, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.


My review:

As I usually do with books I review, I signed up for this one and promptly forgot what it was about.  I started reading Leave Me because it was next in line for due dates but I also immediately wished I had started it sooner.  I started reading and did not stop until I was done.  I paused at one point to look to see how much of the book was left, and then was promptly very sad because it was almost done.  I absolutely loved this one!

Like Maribeth, I have had health issues (somewhat serious though not immediately life-threatening like hers) and deal with children (though not twins), as well as a husband who can manage, but would rather I did it for him.  Thankfully, I don’t have Maribeth’s issues of having to also work full time and be the one to carry the financial strain of the family.  However, knowing exactly how she feels, with far less of her burdens, gives me a strong sense how overwhelmed she must have felt.  I often wonder what would happen if I broke free from the grocery run and kept driving.  This book gives me the answer.

Ultimately, Maribeth had to understand herself more to understand her husband and their past together.  She didn’t seem to know what she wanted from him, so just how was he supposed to give her anything?  When she muddled through without asking for help, he just assumed she was fine, without having the bravery to think about what would happen if she wasn’t fine.  I see a lot of my husband in Maribeth’s, so I have to thank Forman for opening my eyes a bit to the male perspective.

If you pick up If I Leave (and you really should), I highly recommend setting aside a day to read it all at once.  It is a very fast read, but a satisfying one.  I can’t wait to see what else Forman has in store for us in the genre of adult fiction.

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