Date:September 6th 2016
Genre:Contemporary Adult Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
I came into reading Leave Me by Gayle Forman as a newbie reader of her writing. I know she writes YA and I have seen some great reviews for that. However this one is adult fiction, and I have to say I was sucked in from the beginning. I read it in a day, because every moment I had I went back to it.
Marybeth is the narrator of the story and so it is her viewpoint we are given. Later in the book some texts, emails, letters give other viewpoints as well. So it begins with Marybeth experiencing a heart attack and surgery. A week later when she returns to her demanding home life to her mother, four year old twins and husband, I felt for Marybeth. They were totally obtuse, what was her husband Jason thinking? He seems to be expecting her to be up on her feet and coping almost straight away.
So while I found it somewhat odd that she would leave her four year old twins and go away to care for herself another part of me applauded her. Surely it could be the only way to get out of the tunnel she was fumbling about in. I was also disappointed in her friend/boss Elizabeth, and I have to say I didn't find the final resolution of this relationship very believable.
I loved how she settled slowly into Manhattan life and began the journey of healing. She meets two neighbors who turn out to be perfect for her, a doctor who just might become something more than just a doctor, and Janice a social worker. Marybeth meets up with Janice because she is wondering about her birth family as she is adopted. What is the medical history of her family? Who was her mother? All of Marybeth's relationships in the city felt warm and real, in juxtaposition to what she experienced at home.
The book is full of leavings, I wonder about some of them. Not all threads were tightly sewn up at the end of the book. It was like we had a peek into Marybeth's life for a short period. I would love to see her say five years on, where would she be? I guess the upside to not all threads being tied off is that I can make my own story up for her!
Well worth reading. I hope Gayle Forman has more adult fiction planned.