Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Leave Me by Gayle Forman

What They Say.....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.

What I Say.....OMG, yes to this book.   My kids are all grown and I thank God for that every day, but when they were little, I often thought about running away and never coming back.  I was working full time, going to nursing school full time and raising three small children in the midst of a divorce.  Now when I look back, I actually wonder how I made it through without going completely loony.

But Maribeth has bigger problems that I did - because she's having a heart attack and ignoring all the symptoms.  She's been working for her best friend, who seems to have both bypassed her personally and professionally and has also grown distant towards Maribeth and her children.  Her husband isn't super helpful and the kids are just a lot of work.  

When Maribeth ends up going into the cath lab for a quick stent, of course it can't go well, and they tear her artery, causing her to end up needing a full bypass surgery.  At this point I was thinking, if this woman didn't have bad luck, she wouldn't have any luck at all.
Post surgery, her mother comes to "help" and her husband stays home a few days, but ultimately they expect Maribeth to pick up and start doing everything again.  I really felt for her.  

And one day, she just decides she's had enough.  She packs a bag, pulls out 25k from her inheritance and takes off to start a new life.  I wish I had 25k to start a new life.

At first I was appalled, then I was jealous, then I was interested.  So many women would probably love to do this, but who would ever be able to live with the guilt of leaving your children behind?  I loved to talk about it but I could have never even made the motions toward leaving.

But I digress.  The rest of the book is really about Maribeth's journey towards acceptance of herself, learning who she is if she isn't a wife and mother.  And haven't we all wondered that?

I read this book in one day - it was Gayle Forman's first adult book and it was very well done.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.76
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