“She felt almost tearfully grateful to be off the hook, and residually angry because she was always on the hook.”
My Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary, Adult Fiction
Reading Challenge: 10 out of 50
Goodreads Synopsis —
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.
My Thoughts —
I’ve been a big fan of Gayle Forman for awhile now. Prior to Leave Me, however, I’d only ever read Gayle Forman’s Young Adults novel. This was my first of her adult fiction novels. Personally, after reading this one, I think I’m more drawn to her YA books. But I still find the wit and charm of her writing translates nicely to page, even in the Adult Fiction genre.
I guess my main grievance with this book really lies in the fact that the main conflict could have been resolved if Maribeth and her husband had just sat down and had a five minute conversation. Or, better yet, if they’d just gone to marriage counselling. If I can find an easy solution for a conflict right off the bat, then I find that I can’t really get invested in the novel.
At the start, I felt a lot of sympathy for Maribeth. Although times have changed, women - especially working women - still have a pretty rough gig. And Maribeth is the perfect example of being the primary caregiver, which is a role women are often socially expected to take on in a marriage. She has a job, two young kids, and not much help is given from her support system. It makes sense that she runs away.
She goes off on a journey of self-discovery (supposedly) where she’s finding her place in the world outside of the realm of motherhood. This journey is pretty much cut off at the head by the end of the book and just gets tossed aside as a subplot which is almost carelessly tied up (in my opinion) for the sake of ending the novel on a good note. I just felt there wasn’t a whole lot of character development in this novel, either on Maribeth’s part or her husband’s.
All in all, the novel was pretty entertaining. The ending left something to be desired but I don’t know if that should distract entirely from the rest of the plot - it should just be noted.
What did you think of Leave Me?