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Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Friday, August 25, 2017
After I had enjoyed her Young Adult novels so much, I was eager to see how an adult novel written by the author would be.

Leave Me* by Gayle Forman
Published by Algonquin Books on September 6, 2016
ISBN 978-1-6162-0617-8
Pages 352
Format Hardcover 
Source Publisher



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 often the case, once we get 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 able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from herself and those she loves. 

My Review

I don´t know what I´ve expected of this novel, but I am sure that it wasn´t what I got in the end.
And I must say that I am with mixed feelings after I´ve finished this novel. 



Maribeth suffers a heart attack and didn´t even realize it. Even when her doctor during a routine exam tells her that she is still suffering from it, she doesn´t really believe it. But then things go south and from one moment to the next she is in a position where she can´t do anything but to rely on her husband and family – only to find out that she can´t. Because Jason is no help at all and while she is supposed to recover and do nothing but lying in bed and heal, her husband and mother expect her to go back to the usual routine. Something Maribeth´s body and soul aren´t able to do.



The more I´ve read this novel, the more I got speechless. But not in a good way. Maribeth is working full-time, raising twins, runs the household and everything that comes with that and what does her husband when she asks him to be a darling and cook for once dinner for his kids because she won´t make it in time? He literally reacts with incomprehension and tells her to order pizza! Holy hell if that would have been my husband I would have told him something. And I don´t have nice words in mind by saying that.

Besides that, I am not sure if I will read another adult book written by the author. Don´t get me wrong. She writes in a sensitive yet blunt way. And the way how she shows what fear and the unexpected happening can do to a family’s routine is written in a very nice way. But I missed something. Maybe she was too serious about everything. Yes, I know that suffering a heart attack is nothing easy or something you are making jokes about. And I am well aware, that it is never easy for a family, a husband or kids when something bad happens to the mother or any other family member. But I know from her other books, that she can write about serious things with the touch of an easy tone in it. And that was exactly what I missed here a bit. 



Gayle Forman created with Maribeth and Jason figures where I am not sure whether to laugh or shake my head over their behavior. She is for sure a completely overworked mother with a stressful job and a husband at her side who won´t lift a finger unless she threatens him with a gun. And her mother takes only care about her grandchildren if she gets the guarantee that she can be the one where everything is laughter and fun and a good time. But don´t ask that woman to put the used glasses into the dishwasher. Oh no. Jesus! 

No doubt, the author brought some characters together where some of her readers will probably have a hard time getting warm with. I am, no doubt here, one of them. I am not a man-hater or a feminist, but I could have thrown Jason during some scenes with pleasure against a wall. Fear is something that can grip any of us, and that is nothing I am complaining about. But his reaction to everything? A no-go.



I am sure, some will love this novel, others won´t. I am somewhere in between. Leave Me is written in a beautiful way, with sensitivity and shows what fear can do to all of us. On the other hand, I am still in kind of a shock about the husband´s behavior and that the main figure had to do such a step to heal and to help herself and her family. And the fact that one big question the author left unanswered didn´t make it any better. Sad, but after a very good start, this novel turned, at least for me, into average. Sad, really sad.















*I read the German edition new release by Fischer Krüger on July 19, 2017 






Gayle Forman ©Dennis Kleiman






Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author, and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

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Vi@Inkvotary

I am Vi, forty-something, avid reader, blogger and painter who loves to talk and write about books. A day without one in my hands is a wasted one. Skilled florist with a degree in writing - oh yes, that works.

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