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Leave Me
by Gayle Forman


Overview - A #1 September LibraryReads Selection
A September Indie Next Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A People Pick


Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention--meet Maribeth Klein.
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More About Leave Me by Gayle Forman
 
 
 
Overview
A #1 September LibraryReads Selection
A September Indie Next Pick
An Amazon Best Book of the Month
A People Pick


Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and 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.

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 often the case, once we get 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 able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves.

With bighearted characters--husbands, wives, friends, and lovers--who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we're all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781616206178
  • ISBN-10: 1616206179
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Publish Date: September 2016
  • Page Count: 352
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Contemporary Women
Books > Fiction > Family Life
Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-07-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

YA author Forman’s successful foray into adult fiction features a New York City magazine editor, Maribeth Klein, an über-organized mom who is juggling her stressful job, a self-involved husband, and a set of preschool twins that are a handful. She’s so busy helping everyone else she ignores her heart attack symptoms, ending up with emergency bypass surgery. Following this massive disruption in her life, Maribeth decides the only way to recover from the emotional and physical trauma of what she’s been through is to suddenly leave her family, fleeing to Pittsburgh, not only to escape but also, spurred by her health problems, to find out more about her own background as an adoptee. The author nimbly explores what drove Maribeth from her family as well as what compels her to look for her birth mother at the age of 44. She goes off the grid—using cash from her savings, a burner phone, old-fashioned yellow pages, and the local library—to get her bearings and put a semblance of a life together. With humor and pathos, Forman depicts Maribeth’s complicated situation and her thoroughly satisfying arc, leaving readers feeling as though they’ve really accompanied Maribeth on her journey. (Sept.)

 
BookPage Reviews

Overworked and over it

Maribeth Klein has it all—and that’s the problem.

The main character in Gayle Forman’s absorbing first adult novel has a career, family and a home in a Manhattan zip code so desirable “it seemed as if even the nannies have nannies.” Juggling all of these responsibilities has left Maribeth “overtaxed and overburdened, but show her a working mother who wasn’t.” So, when Maribeth feels twinges in her chest, she thinks she’s merely eaten something bad or is feeling the pressure from her latest deadline at work. But it turns out she has had a heart attack.

Things go from bad to worse when, following surgery and a hospital stay, Maribeth’s family seems to expect her to return to the same demanding and stressful routine: “dancing on a surfboard, juggling knives, while they all went about business as usual.” So Maribeth simply takes off. She heads from New York City to Pittsburgh, for reasons that Forman slowly but skillfully makes clear. Once in Pittsburgh, Maribeth takes up with a younger set of neighbors and an older doctor, who help her come to terms with what she’s left behind. But a more glaring revelation awaits, providing Leave Me with some of its most tender moments.

Occasionally, Forman’s dialogue is a little clunky and her attempts to balance comedy and drama don’t always work, though she is to be credited for exploring the lighter side of some rather dark material. Ultimately, Leave Me deftly explores the domestic struggles of 21st-century bourgeois life. This is an insightful ode to—and cautionary tale for—the overburdened working mother.

 

This article was originally published in the September 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews