(Review) Leave Me
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Adult Fiction/Contemporary
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 Stars
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.
First off, I was SO EXCITED to get this ARC because I'm a huge Gayle Forman fan. Everything she writes hits you in the feels, and this was really no different.
Maribeth is an overworked, stressed-out, too busy wife and mom. She's got twin four-year-olds, a husband who doesn't always help out, a best-friends-turned-boss, and the cost of living in New York City.
Also, she has a heart attack and nearly dies.
After her heart attack things turn back to normal, much to Maribeth's dismay. Jason, her husband, continues to work long nights, the twins don't get it, and Maribeth's mother is, well...an annoying mother.
So Maribeth leaves. She packs a bag, takes out twenty-five-thousand dollars in cash, sends her husband an e-mail, and hits the road.
Just like that Maribeth is in Pennsylvania renting a one-bedroom apartment, lying to her neighbors (and her doctor), and searching for her birth mother.
Gayle Forman pulls no punches when it comes to the emotions department. You can feel Maribeth's frustration with her husband and family and you begin to feel it too. Then, just when you think you've had enough of her family, she leaves them and you're left torn and confused!
This book was definitely a roller coaster of emotions for me. I loved Maribeth's strong will and her love for her family (even while she was gone), but I hated her for some of the choices she made while she was away.
The supporting characters were nicely fleshed out and Forman created meaningful relationships, I thought, beautifully. Maribeth doesn't stop thinking about her family, but she also doesn't really do anything to get back to them or try to contact them. It isn't until she realizes that she hasn't heard from her husband that she gets angry and makes contact with him.
This was really the turning point for me. I was getting to a point where I was just kind of angry with Maribeth. She was making friends and seemingly moving on without any thoughts for going back to her family. Her conversations with Jason started out small, but as they grew you could definitely see the love in their relationship.
I feel like this book was true to Gayle's writing style. Lots of emotions, strong secondary characters, and (maybe) a happy ending.
I would have liked to have seen more of the resolution but, hey, I was happy with what I got.
Check this out in September, it's worth the wait!
Thanks to NetGalley and Algonquin Books for the ARC.