Leave Me–Gayle Forman


This story begins with an all-too-real scenario.  Maribeth, in her early 40s, suffers a heart attack and does not realize it is happening.  She is too busy working and taking care of her family.

What happens from there left reality behind, at least for me.  Maribeth does not tell her husband that she is in the emergency room.  He is only summoned when she is rushed in for a stint, which turns into a bypass when an artery is perforated.

More unreality.  Maribeth has twin four-year-olds.  Her husband has asked her adopted mother to stay with them during her recovery, but against Maribeth’s wishes.  Her reasons become clear when her mother leaves the household chores and most of the care for the twins to the recovering Maribeth with a low lifting weight limit.  When her husband starts staying at work late and even her visiting nurse poo-poos her concerns about not having the rest she needs to recover, I nearly quit reading.  The urge to quit reading quadrupled when Maribeth walked out on her family after withdrawing her father’s bequest from her bank account.

Marriage, career, motherhood are demanding.  Small children are demanding.  Twins are demanding.  Writing a novel in which a mother disappears from her life, leaves behind young children without any contact for months, and is not sought by her husband and parents seems like a teenage fantasy.  I’ll run away and then they will be sorry!  I will be able to do whatever I want and no one can tell me what to do!  This may not be surprising from a young adult novelist writing her first novel for adults.  I hope her next novel features an adult woman who behaves more like an adult.

I had said I would write  a review, so I kept reading.  I am a reader who rarely quits a book.  I desperately want to find something salvageable before I close the back cover.

Forma managed to find a way to help me empathize with Maribeth.  She sent her in search of her biological mother, ostensibly to learn her health history.  She put a likable older female character in the mix.

This was not a horrible book.  It was not a great book.  It was a passable book.  If one is in the mood for indulging adolescent escape fantasies, perhaps it is the perfect book.

Finished 5/15/16


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