Leave Me by Gayle Forman is on my Fall 2016 TBR list, and was also one of the books I featured in my September 2016 Releases post as one of the releases I was excited about.
As soon as I read the premise, I knew I wanted to try secure a copy asap. I think we’ve all dreamed about leaving the many requirements of our lives behind a la Cheryl Strayed in Wild. This is the fictional story of one woman who did, and in Leave Me we can live vicariously through Gayle Forman’s protagonist Maribeth.
Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Published: September 6th 2016
Maribeth Klein is a working mother of two (4 year old twins) who misconstrues the signs that she is having a heart attack for gasiness. Once Maribeth is rushed from the emergency room to heart bypass surgery, she realizes the physical effects of her stressful multitasking life are real. After surgery Maribeth tries to return to her pre-heart attack routine, but life’s responsibilities and her growing resentment towards her husband and children impede her recovery. Maribeth ends up making the difficult decision to leave her family in order to find and heal herself.
What I Liked
Even though I don’t have children, the novel felt very relatable to me. I think the experience of having too many items on your to do list and not enough time in which to do them is a universal one in modern life. I felt Maribeth’s frustration as my own, and kind of wished I could take a life sabbatical as well – though maybe not in Pittsburgh. Forman’s writing really made Maribeth’s thoughts and experiences feel authentic, and even the side characters that Maribeth encountered throughout the book felt relatively complex in their own right.
Though I found myself judging Maribeth for some of her choices, and at least questioning her for some of her decisions, I still fundamentally understood the impetus that brought her to need a stretch of time solely to herself. The author’s use of email conversations and chat communications within the prose also helped to make the narrative feel credible and contextualized in modern life.
What I Didn’t Like
Without giving any spoilers, I felt that the ending of the book didn’t tie things up in a satisfying way. I was left with many questions on key aspects of Maribeth’s story, and wondering if I was missing a chapter or two of the novel.
Four out of five rabbits. That’s my new rating system in honor of my bunny Sammy.
Leave Me is a quick and interesting read for someone who is wondering what it would feel like to press pause on their own harried life.
About The Author
Gayle Forman is an American young-adult fiction author, who is best known for her 2009 novel If I Stay, which ranked on the New York Times best sellers list for Young Adult Fiction and was adapted into an omonimous film.
Forman began her career as a journalist, writing freelance for magazines such as Details, Jane, Glamour, Elle and Cosmopolitan. Leave Me is Forman’s first adult novel.
Other Books By Gayle Forman
You Can’t Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World (2005)
Sisters in Sanity (2007)
If I Stay (2009)
Where She Went (2011)
I received a review ecopy of this title from Net Galley but this review represents my honest opinion of the book.