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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

(80)Leave Me by Gayle Forman


Maribeth Klein is like millions of other women.  She is juggling a career, a husband, and twin four-year-olds.   She pushes off her chest pains as indigestion.   But it isn't just indigestion, it is a heart attack and that night she finds herself in the emergency room.  She ends up needing a bypass and her life was hanging on by a thread.  Her recovery is more stressful than she had hoped as her husband, Jason, doesn't really step up to help out like she expected.  Maribeth has to deal with her own mortality, taking care of her family, and trying to recover.  It is as a double dose of lice that puts her over the edge.  Again with no help from her husband.   She is done.  She packs a bag, withdraws some money, and heads off in search of herself.  She finds herself in Pittsburgh where she searches for her birth mother and tries to come to grips with her marriage, her life, and her possible death.   Will she be able to heal without the daily stressors of her life?  Will leaving Jason and the twins cause irrevocable damage to her marriage?  And does she even care if her marriage is irrevocably damaged?

I think Leave Me is one of those novels that a lot of women are going to be able to relate to on a very basic level.  What woman hasn't had day-dreamed about driving past home and into a new life?  Maribeth was an easy character to like and Jason was an easy character to dislike.  The way he left Maribeth to take care of everything all the time was frustrating to me as the reader, I can only imagine the frustration Maribeth felt. But it happens all too often in marriages.   I don't agree with the way she ran away, but I completely understand it.  What I think it boils down to is Maribeth and Jason were so mired in the muck of their everyday life that they forgot the importance of communication.  Not communication about what's for dinner, but communication about their feelings, their hopes, their dreams.   In the end, it was the distance between them that gave them the gift of communication.  But is it enough to save their marriage?
Bottom line - Leave Me is a cautionary tale about the importance of communication in a marriage.  Leave Me is one of those books that will stick with you long after you finish the last chapter.  A must read for any woman who feels overworked and underappreciated!


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