Thank you to NetGalley, Algonquin Books, and Gayle Forman for allowing me the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Gayle Forman is well known for her award-winning young adult novels, such as If I Stay, Just One Day, Just One Year, and Where She Went. Leave Me is her first adult fiction, but because I haven’t read any of her young adult novels (I know, what have I been doing with my life?!) I can’t accurately compare this novel to any of her previous works. I can say, however, that I did not once think about how Forman is primarily a young adult author the entire time I was reading this. So, well done!
Maribeth Klein is an editor at an upscale New York magazine, a loving wife to her college sweetheart, and a mother to twins. Busy with juggling her work responsibilities and taking care of everyone in her family, Maribeth doesn’t realize right away that she has had a heart attack. Afterward, she finds that the healing process is more difficult than she imagined and to top it off, her recovery appears to be an imposition on her family. Tired and still recovering, Maribeth packs a bag and leaves. When she reaches her new destination, far from the stresses of work and family life, Maribeth is finally able to take a look at her life from a different perspective and begin digging up old secrets.
Leave Me is a novel about facing our fears and being able to be happy with ourselves before we can truly make anyone else happy. The many friends that Maribeth meets along her journey can only be described as good-natured and kind. It’s difficult for me to think of one character that I didn’t enjoy. I think that Forman made a conscious effort to surround our protagonist with positive people during her journey of self-exploration. With that being said, I wish there was more character development. We were introduced to quite a few characters in such a short amount of time, so it was also difficult for me to choose a character that I felt connected to besides Maribeth.
This story is delightful and inspiring. If you have ever felt like you just wanted to pack your bags and leave for awhile, then you will be able to relate! I would recommend it to anyone who wants to read an enticing novel that explores modern motherhood!
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