Leave Me by Gayle Forman

Leave Me by Gayle Forman. Septamber 6, 2016. Algonquin Books, 352 p. ISBN: 9781616206178.  Int Lvl: AD; Rdg Lvl: AD; Lexile: 720.

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.

With big-hearted characters who stumble and trip, grow and forgive, Leave Me is about facing our fears. Gayle Forman, a dazzling observer of human nature, has written an irresistible novel that confronts the ambivalence of modern motherhood head-on.

Potentially Sensitive Areas: Strong language; Mild sexual themes; Alcohol

 

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Reviews

Booklist starred (August 2016 (Vol. 112, No. 22))
Maribeth Klein is too busy with her four-year-old twins and her increasingly demanding job to realize she’s had a heart attack at 44. Shrugging off the pain, she continues with her day, heading to the preschool to be the storytime reader. She tries to chip away at her increasing to-do list by persuading her husband take over dinner duties—parenting group is meeting at their Tribeca apartment that night. She manages to keep her ob-gyn appointment so she can mention that she’s feeling a bit off. Next thing she knows, she’s having open-heart surgery. Complications lead to an extended recovery period, yet somehow Maribeth is quickly back at everyone’s beck and call. And her illness brings up long-buried questions—as an adoptee, she’s clueless about her family medical history. When the demands get the best of her, Maribeth packs a bag, cashes out her bank account, and catches a train to Pittsburgh, where she hopes to find some answers about her past, as well as some time to herself. Popular teen author Forman’s adult debut examines just what it means to be a working mother—beholden to everyone, seemingly obligated to forget who you really are. Maribeth’s search for her birth mother and the way she settles into her new—albeit temporary—life away from home will strike a chord with readers, especially those who enjoy Jennifer Weiner and Meg Wolitzer.

Kirkus Reviews (September 1, 2016)
An inexperienced 15-year-old witch struggles to establish her ethics as she fights to save fellow high school students from the predations of older wicked witches.When Camellia’s witch mother, Sarmine, (both white) invites three racially diverse witch friends over, ostensibly as a reunion of an old college Do-Badders Club, Cam is horrified when they decide to resume their antics and select Cam’s fellow high school students as victims. The challenge? The witch who makes her victim the most miserable over the course of a week is the winner. To thwart them, Cam bets the witches she can undo their work, but there are problems: she doesn’t know which students are the victims, she barely knows any spells, and she refuses to use any spells that contain animal ingredients—which, unfortunately, are most of them. If that weren’t bad enough, the ante gets upped considerably when Cam discovers the real reason most-evil-witch Malkin suggested the challenge in the first place. Cam’s flippant first-person narrative rises above teen boilerplate due to the intelligence, vulnerability, and self-deprecating humor she displays. Connolly’s first-rate plotting delivers a clever story that empathizes with the self-conscious teen world even as it pokes a tiny bit of well-meaning fun. Accomplished plotting teams up with a winsome narrator to give readers a bewitching story. (appendix) (Fantasy. 13-16)

About the Author

Gayle Forman is an award-winning internationally bestselling author. Her books include Just One Day, Just One Year, I Was Here, Where She Went and If I Stay, which was made into a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz.

Her newest novel, Leave Me, is her first one starring adults. (She refuses to say it’s an adult novel because she knows plenty of adults read YA and vice-versa).

Gayle lives with her husband and daughters in Brooklyn.  Her website is www.gayleforman.com.

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