Leave Me

Grownup readers of Gayle Forman's young adult novels (If I Stay, Just One Day), rejoice! With Leave Me, we have one of our own. "Adult" situations dominate Maribeth Klein's stress-filled life: juggling a demanding job at a New York magazine, mothering four-year-old twins and deferring to an overworked husband. Who has time for a heart attack?

Feeling "off" at work sends Maribeth to the ER; she needs emergency bypass surgery. Returning home, she is convinced anew that she must keep up: her husband exhorts her to stop sweating the small stuff, her mother's "help" is counterproductive, her twins fuss for her attention, and her boss (and former best friend) seems to have no trouble reassigning her tasks.

When she walks out the door with no plan but to care for herself, Maribeth withdraws her savings en route to Penn Station, where she spontaneously buys a ticket to Pittsburgh. Slowly, she creates a new life there: as M.B. Goldman, she rents an apartment, meets the neighbors and finds a cardiologist. Soon, she acknowledges that she went to Pittsburgh because she was born there and adopted as an infant, and is now ready to search for her birth mother.

Readers shocked at Maribeth's apparent ease in leaving home will be mollified by her introspection and acknowledgment that she needs to find herself in order to be her best for her family. Poignant, thoughtful and often hilarious, Leave Me is a fast-paced and heartwarming read about a woman needing to give up everything in order to have it all. --Cheryl Krocker McKeon, manager, Book Passage, San Francisco

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