Leave Me by Gayle Forman
Published September 6, 2016 by Simon and Schuster
Source: the publisher via Netgalley
Rating: 5 stars
From the blurb: 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.
I don't read a lot of adult fiction these days, but when I saw Gayle Forman had a new book coming out, I had to read it and I'm so glad I did.
Forty-four year old Maribeth Klein lives in New York with her husband Jason, and their four year old twins, Liv and Oscar. Maribeth works at a magazine, Frap, alongside her best friend, Elizabeth. She took the job with the idea that it wouldn't be full time but she still finds herself working on her days off and trying to fit everything in. When she begins having pain in her chest she chalks it up to reflux and ignores it. Luckily she had an OBGYN appointment scheduled for the following day and she's sent to the ER where she undergoes surgery for stuttering myocardial infarction.
Reading about real world issues is always more chilling to me than reading about something paranormal, and this is certainly the case in Leave Me. Knowing that what happens to Maribeth could happen to almost anyone is scary and her attitude towards it, to want to know how much of an inconvenience it would be to her, was such a reflection of our society these days.
At home Maribeth does most of the work, Jason has a lot going on at work, so despite recovering from having major surgery, Maribeth soon finds herself doing chores and taking care of the twins, and herself. Jason's default is to always assume things will work out, mostly because Maribeth always makes sure things get done, his other default is to just cancel on things and not see them through. It was so easy to empathise with her, I could feel her seething resentment, and I felt so frustrated for her. I'm not a mother but I could totally relate to having to find time to do everything, to always be the one running errands, doing chores. I think a lot of readers will be able to see themselves in Maribeth.
It takes a lot of skill to make a story about everyday people compelling but Gayle Forman excels at this. I was riveted from the beginning and all the way right to the end. The story of Maribeth's birth mother was intriguing and paired nicely with her recovery story. It was fascinating to imagine her new, temporary life.
The ending was beautifully done and to an extent it surprised me, I felt quite overwhelmed and it certainly made me cry a lot.
Leave Me is a captivating story of one woman's recovery, her chance to make peace with her past, and to decide her future. It's a story that will resonate with a multitude of readers.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for my Netgalley copy.
Despite reading the Aus/UK version, I decided to paint nails to match the US version.
I started with a base of white nail polish on 3 nails and used Pretty Serious Doodle Bug and Natio Sunflower on the other two. I used the same two polishes plus LVX Celeste, LVX Mynt, LVX Midori, and Nubar Dare You to Dragonfly for the stripes.