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Review: Leave Me

November 17, 2016


Maribeth Klein is a busy working wife and mother of four-year old twins.  She’s tired and nauseated and feels like she can’t go on so she heads to the doctor’s office and learns she’s having a heart attack.  A few tests determine that she needs surgery and that turns out to be more complicated than it should have been.   She’s released from the hospital and given instructions to rest and eat healthy which she finds impossible to do because no one – not her husband nor her mother – is stepping in to pick up the slack.  Fed up, Maribeth withdraws a sizable amount of money from the bank and hits the road with no real plan of action.

Maribeth takes on a new identity and makes a new life for herself in Pittsburgh – she makes friends, finds a new doctor, and searches for her birth mother in earnest.  But is this the life she wants to live?

I was intrigued by LEAVE ME by Gayle Forman after reading Jill’s review of the book.   I left her a comment and she emailed me telling me that the reviews for the book are all over the place because a lot of people are offended by Maribeth’s actions.  That made me even more curious so I decided to pick the book up and I’m glad I did.  The book is not without faults – I thought the ending was a little too neat – but I really enjoyed my time with it.

Maribeth is a character that many women will be able to relate to.  She’s frazzled because she’s overworked and underappreciated.  She can’t even get a break to recover from surgery.  Of course, most women don’t react the way she does but I’m sure many have been tempted.

I liked the storyline and the other characters Maribeth encountered as well.  There were a few little twists but it wasn’t hard to see which way the story was going to go.  The journey was so intriguing, though, that didn’t bother me in the least.  I found myself wanting to talk about LEAVE ME as I read it so I think it would make a fabulous book club choice.

The audio version of LEAVE ME is narrated by Eva Kaminsky and I thought she did a terrific job.  It was a great way to experience this thought provoking book.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2016 5:57 am

    I also think it would be great for book clubs!

  2. November 17, 2016 7:30 am

    Opinions are all over the place with this one, but I’m tempted to give it a try.

  3. November 17, 2016 8:09 am

    This is definitely a great book for book clubs – there’s so much to talk about. I couldn’t stand Maribeth and found her to be extremely selfish. I get that moms might fantasize about leaving it all behind on days when they are beyond exhausted from doing it all. But they only think about it, they don’t actually leave their little kids behind. I know she left a note, but that was it. She didn’t even talk to her kids. Kids don’t realize the severity of what happened to Mom, how could they stop relying on her when they don’t get it. Maribeth should have spoken more openly, clearly, and firmly with her husband and mom. She should have stood her ground, but she didn’t. She ran off instead. And then she dated her doctor? Seriously!?! I get what Forman was going for, but I didn’t like it in the end.

  4. November 17, 2016 8:53 am

    As I have read and enjoyed her earlier stuff, I was planning to get to this one of these days. Maybe I will do the audio.

  5. November 17, 2016 8:53 am

    Oh, I want to read this one. It sounds like a great discussion book. Adding to my wishlist…

  6. November 17, 2016 9:29 am

    The purpose of a book, IMHO, is to make you care. That can work both ways. Even if she makes us angry, we at least care.

  7. November 17, 2016 10:20 am

    I’m so intrigued by your review, Kathy. Adding it to my Audible wish list.

  8. November 17, 2016 11:13 am

    I loved this book, Kathy, and I could completely understand her feelings of wanting to flee. It’s too bad she didn’t think things out a little more, as she found so many complications ahead of her, like getting medical care…But I wasn’t offended by her actions. I could relate to her and I even worried about her. That’s how real the character felt.

    Yes, she was impulsive, but overthinking things often means that a person stays put and resentments build…So, in the end, she probably did just what was right for her at the time.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. November 17, 2016 12:21 pm

    Not sure I want to read this or not. Glad you ended up liking it.

  10. November 17, 2016 12:50 pm

    I’ve been on the fence about this one but your review tipped the scales. Gonna add it to the list!

  11. Patty permalink
    November 17, 2016 3:00 pm

    I am not sure I could read this…books like this make me uncomfortable but I know that’s due to my upbringing, my Italian guilt, my mom and Den!

  12. November 17, 2016 6:53 pm

    This is definitely one I’m interested in. I don’t think you have to necessarily like a character’s choices in order to find their story interesting, so I’m intrigued.

  13. November 17, 2016 7:27 pm

    Great review, Kathy! I’m glad you enjoyed it so much–I will definitely keep it in mind.

  14. November 18, 2016 1:20 am

    I should try this one

  15. November 18, 2016 4:43 pm

    I feel betrayed by so many negative reviews for books in general on sites like Amazon and Goodreads that I have been weaning myself off from reading those prior to deciding on a book. I only read trusted bloggers’ posts and what I find on my own.

    I think I’d like to read this, despite whether I agree with MC or would even act like the MC.

  16. November 18, 2016 10:22 pm

    I remember Jill’s review. As many days have come along where I’ve said, “I just can’t do this anymore.” it’s hard to imagine actually doing something as drastic as that. I’m not sure I could read this with an open mind. It does sound like a good book club book though.

  17. November 18, 2016 11:41 pm

    Yours is the first review of Leave Me that I’ve read and I can say based on your review, I’m really intrigued!

  18. November 19, 2016 2:37 pm

    Love your review. This one hasn’t been on my radar, but it may just get added to my wish list.

  19. November 19, 2016 7:50 pm

    This sounds like a book with a lot to discuss

  20. November 20, 2016 6:20 pm

    Nice review Kathy! I didn’t realize there was so much talk about this book but now I can understand why. It sounds like a discussion book for sure.

  21. bookingmama permalink
    November 22, 2016 8:10 am

    This is one that looks like a great book club pick!

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