“This surprising, compassionate story brings to life the secret, guilty fantasy of many overworked moms.” —People
“In an enthralling novel reminiscent of Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years, a woman who recently suffered a heart attack runs away to recover her equilibrium.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
Every woman who has ever fantasized about driving past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, and 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.
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.
With bighearted characters--husbands, wives, friends, and lovers--who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing the fears we’re all running from. Gayle Forman is a dazzling observer of human nature. She has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head on and asks, what happens when a grown woman runs away from home?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
A close observer of human nature, former journalist Gayle Forman—the author of the wildly popular If I Stay—graduates from young adult fiction to this grownup tale of crisis and redemption. Protagonist Maribeth Klein has kids, a family, and a seemingly unending to-do list, but when a heart attack floors her, she leaves her old life in search of meaning. On her quest, Maribeth meets delightful characters and confronts hard truths with great humor and compassion. They say all journeys are journeys home, and this proves especially true for Forman’s heroine in the book’s emotionally satisfying finale.
YA author Forman's successful foray into adult fiction features a New York City magazine editor, Maribeth Klein, an ber-organized mom who is juggling her stressful job, a self-involved husband, and a set of preschool twins that are a handful. She's so busy helping everyone else she ignores her heart attack symptoms, ending up with emergency bypass surgery. Following this massive disruption in her life, Maribeth decides the only way to recover from the emotional and physical trauma of what she's been through is to suddenly leave her family, fleeing to Pittsburgh, not only to escape but also, spurred by her health problems, to find out more about her own background as an adoptee. The author nimbly explores what drove Maribeth from her family as well as what compels her to look for her birth mother at the age of 44. She goes off the grid using cash from her savings, a burner phone, old-fashioned yellow pages, and the local library to get her bearings and put a semblance of a life together. With humor and pathos, Forman depicts Maribeth's complicated situation and her thoroughly satisfying arc, leaving readers feeling as though they've really accompanied Maribeth on her journey.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Starting to read this book was a difficult task. As my had husband abandoned my children and myself, I wasn't sure I should even attempt the read. I despised Maribeth at the onset for leaving her family. How could a mother possibly abandon her family, especially her children? Unlike my own situation, where my husband never attempted to contact us, I pushed on to continue the read. For me, this was a book I was unable to put down. It is well written with an interesting ending. Unfortunately, it did not portray the deep and horrible loss the children had to feel.
I thought it was a well done story and I enjoyed it immensely, except for the 'F---' word being used. That is so unclassy & offensive.
Took this iBook to Hawaii for a pleasure read and could not put it down. Bought a paperback for the beach, but kept returning to Leave Me. As a recent heart attack survivor and adoptee, I felt a strong connection to Maribeth.