Title: Leave the World Behind
Author: Rumaan Alam
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
Leave the World Behind is a hard book for me to review. On the one hand, I appreciated the suspense and interesting concept. A family has rented a holiday home on Long Island, but then one night the house’s owners come knowing, needing somewhere to stay as a Blackout sweeps New York City. Queue distrust, confusion and ensuing panic as things start to get very strange…
I think the main problem I had with this novel was the writing style. It felt overdone- some of the sentences are so lengthy and it felt like every other word was a metaphor or simile, which just irritated me. I found myself willing the author to cut down the words. I know I’m terrible at using ten words when you could use three, but in this novel it just felt too much.
However, some of the writing was quite atmospheric and did pull me in a little. It kept me reading to the end, but I did find I’d lost interest a lot by the time I got halfway through.
The ending was also a bit of a disappointment for me, though I appreciated the fact that not everything should be tied up with a bow and presented to the reader in that way. I just didn’t engage with the book enough. I think I am probably in the minority with this opinion though.