Review: Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Expected publication: September 6th, 2016 by Algonquin Books.
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. (Goodreads)
In her adult debut Forman does a good job getting things right, but in a rather uneventful way. Maribeth or M.B as she later refers to herself has a heart attack and after a series of complications, she has double bypass surgery. When she returns home following the surgery she realizes that everyone is expecting her to continue as if nothing happened. But Maribeth can no longer be the mother of the year. She needs a break in a big way and when she can’t get the break she needs she runs away leaving her husband and 4-year-old twins behind.
The beginning does a good job of explaining the day to day stresses of Maribeth’s life. Work, twins, chores, husband that doesn’t help much, etc. And then out of nowhere she up and leaves. As much as I could sympathize with her stressors, I couldn’t justify her leaving her family. Maybe it’s what she ultimately needed but it just didn’t make sense. Was it a mid-life crisis? Maybe. While it was hard to fathom her choices I was interested in seeing where the story would lead. In the end, I think Maribeth is finally at peace.
There’s nothing mind-blowing about this novel but sometimes that’s ok. I hope Forman continues to dabble into adult fiction because I can just imagine reading all of her works. So while I wasn’t blown away I still rated Leave Me by Gayle Forman a solid 3 stars.
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.