Everything happened fast after that. There was chorus of alarms, a jerking of movement. A mask over her face. In that final moment before everything went dark, Maribeth thought— less in fear than a sort of awe— how easily it could all leave you.
Maribeth is an overworked editor, devoted mother of 4-year-old twins and undervalued wife. Given the day-to-day exhaustion of the working mother lifestyle it was easy for her to ignore the subtle signs of the heart attack that would serve as the catalyst to her restoration.
She felt so caught out. She’d thought she’d done everything right. She’d spent her entire life making lists, following through, keeping everything in check, all to make sure this kind of thing would never happen. And look where it had gotten her. Just fucking look.
On the mend, Maribeth returns home to recuperate only to discover that her family expects her to pick up where she left off. When one minor disaster after another creeps up, Maribeth has no one to turn to- her husband is not supportive and her children just want their mother back.
Selfish! She was being selfish? All she did was take care of everyone else. For the first time in her life, she needed to be taken care of, and this was what she got? She felt tears of rage come to her eyes and then shame because damn him if she was going to cry.
So Maribeth does what any under appreciated working mother only dreams of- she leaves. She leaves not with the intention of abandoning her family but with the hope for renewal. What follows is Maribeth’s journey to find herself- the self before all the demands and responsibility brought on by her career and family. Forman deftly conquers a taboo subject all-the-while stirring up bittersweet feelings for her lead character whom most readers will grow to love by the conclusion of this emotional story.
Maybe one day it would be fine. Maybe one day she would get past all this and figure out some great second act. Maybe then she might look back and see that all the destruction she had brought down on her family, on her marriage, on herself, had been worth it. Because she would be extraordinary. Because she would be a real-life hero. But standing here now, amid the wreckage of her own making, it was nearly impossible to imagine.
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This title was provided by Algonquin Books via Netgalley