Review : Leave Me

Leave Me

Leave Me
By Gayle Forman
Algonquin Books, Hardcover, 9781616206178, September, 6, 2016, 352pp.

The Short of It:

These days, busyness is a sickness and women who’ve battled with the concept of balance, will probably be able to relate to much of what this book is about. Unfortunately, the main character was a huge disappointment and the ending left me unsatisfied.

The Rest of It:

Maribeth Klein suffers a heart attack and doesn’t even realize it. In her mid-forties, the possibility doesn’t even occur to her. She goes about her day, working, running errands and meeting with friends until she can no longer ignore the increasing pain in her chest and arm. It’s only when the doctor at a routine appointment decides to err on the side of caution,  that she ends up in surgery.

After emergency bypass surgery, Maribeth wakes to a new reality. One that involves a limited diet, a long recovery and the fact that even though she is far from healed, she is still expected to do all the things she did before. This includes caring for her twins which is incredibly overwhelming to her. She becomes resentful towards her husband for not doing enough to help but at the same time, she plays martyr and insists on doing things herself.

Maribeth is a frustrating individual.

After her near death experience, she runs away from her obligations by pulling out cash, packing a bag and going off the grid for awhile. She sets up in another town, hooks up and flirts with her new cardiac specialist, decides to look for her birth mother because well, she’s adopted which is why she wasn’t aware of any heart issues and basically lives as “MB” without too much concern over what her disappearance is doing to her family back home.

Women, mothers in general, should try to put themselves first once in awhile. I wholeheartedly agree. We get swept up with the everyday stuff and it wears us down. BUT, Maribeth is married and leaves not only her husband but her two young children as well.

I was not okay with this.

This made Maribeth come off as arrogant and selfish which I am sure the author was not going for. Plus, the ending was as if even the author had had enough of MB. Turned a page, done. Like turning off a faucet.

I’ve read Forman’s work before. Although this book had a lot of potential it went south pretty early on. I was immediately pulled in but Maribeth was just not likable and so much of what she does and how she goes about doing it seemed too easy.

This is not a book I can recommend, except for it serving as a reminder to not be all things to all people.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

15 thoughts on “Review : Leave Me”

  1. Ti, you know I agree with you on this book. I’ve read Forman’s work before and though I always found it fun, but predictable – this book was the worst. I hated MB and I hated how extremely SELFISH she was – how could she leave her little kids behind like that? I get that she wanted to take time for herself, but seriously!?! Ditching your family (your kids!!) is not the way to go. Such a disappointing read. I think your post is spot on.

    1. That’s the thing. Based on the beginning, I was thinking it was going to be really good. As you know, I am often very busy so I was immediately pulled in by MB’s situation but then it fell apart.

  2. Between Jenn and you, I decided to completely skip this one and have already informed the publisher that I would not be reviewing my e-galley. I hate infidelity, but it sounds like her selfishness at leaving her kids without a heads-up would infuriate me even more than the fact that she is stepping out on her husband without remorse.

    1. The title is supposed to refer to how she wanted her husband to leave her be but at the end, all I could think of were the kids and how they felt to have their mother walk out on them. Nope. Nope. Nope.

  3. Oh, bleh. Abandoning kids is one of those things that will immediately lose all my sympathy for a fictional character (male or female, I swear this is not a gendered thing, or at least not primarily). I’ll give this one a miss!

    1. You know, if she were a danger to her kids and left to go to rehab or something, that would be one thing but this was nothing like that.

  4. Putting yourself first is one thing, putting yourself as only is another thing altogether when you’ve already got obligations. I’d definitely have a problem with a character that does that.

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