Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers. I have tried to keep them to a minimum, but you have been warned.
You do not read a Gayle Forman book expecting the road to recovery to be easy. In her books, there will be bumps in the road and holes you fall into. And Leave Me is no different.
After a massive heart attack that leads to open heart surgery, Maribeth comes home to realize that her recovery is an imposition on those around her. She struggles to get help from her husband and mother to help her take care of the twins and the stress of it all is not allowing her to heal. So she leaves. Maribeth Klein leaves to save herself, and ultimately, to find herself.
The concept of Leave Me is not an easy one. A wife and mother leaves her family in order to figure out where she belongs in the world. In society, this is a very taboo concept, but I urge you to not judge a book by it’s cover.
The characters in Leave Me are real and raw. They grow, stumble, and fall down as they try to find their way. They are not perfect and make some bad decisions, but the important part is they learn and grow from the decisions that they make.
The underlying theme of Leave Me, in my opinion, is the woman’s role in the home and the pressures we put on ourselves to fit into this mold of what society thinks we should be. Even after major life changing surgery, Maribeth is still expected to take care of her family and household. Her family says that they are going to help, but ultimately leave the responsibility to her and they get frustrated when she is unable to just take up where she left off before the surgery.
Leaving her cell phone and note, Maribeth leaves in order to heal. This act in and of itself is such a societal no-no that many readers will be ready to crucify her. But, I ask is it wrong to put yourself first after asking for help repeatedly?
She leaves to heal, she leaves to find peace, she leaves to find herself.
As the story progresses you learn that Maribeth is adopted. Until the heartattack, Maribeth had no desire to find them. Now she wants to know her history and what other family ailments could not only affect her, but her children.
On her journey of self discovery, Maribeth runs into some lively characters, from her energetic, football loving young neighbors, her mysterious doctor, and eclectic adoption case worker. The characters in this book are far from perfect and deal with their own inner demons.
Would I Recommend?
Yes. There is so much heart in this story. The basis of the story may be hard for some to get through, but the emotional connections between reader and book are there. True to her style, Gayle Forman’s characters stumble and fall apart, then get back up and keep going. And though they struggle, they still find their happy endings.
I hope you found this post helpful. If you’ve read All the Missing Girls or have any thriller suggestions, let me know in the comments. Did you love it or hate it? If you want to buy it, click here!
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