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In Leah's Wake [Paperback]

Terri A. Giuliano Long
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 2011
The Tyler family had the perfect life - until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn't want to be perfect anymore. While Leah's parents fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah's younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake. Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn't enough? Jodi Picoult fans will love In Leah's Wake - a heartbreaking, ultimately redemptive story about family, connection and our responsibility to those we love.

Product details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Terri Giuliano Long (Jun 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0975453394
  • ISBN-13: 978-0975453391
  • Product Dimensions: 2.1 x 13.8 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,031,683 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

TERRI GIULIANO LONG has written for print and online media, news and feature stories for numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, and she's also edited technical articles. Her debut novel, In Leah's Wake, was an acclaimed bestseller, an Amazon bestseller for over six months and ranking sixth on the Barnes & Noble Nook's Top 100 list. In Leah's Wake won the 2012 Global eBook Award in Popular Literature and the 2012 Indie Discovery Award in Literary Fiction.

In May 2013, after teaching for seventeen years, Terri left her post at Boston College to focus on her writing and is currently hard at work on her next novel, The Lies We Tell Ourselves, a follow-up to her latest work, Until I Come Home. She lives with her family on the East Coast.

Terri loves connecting with people who share her passions. She can be reached on her website (, blog (, Facebook page ( or on Twitter (

Product Description


"Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender."
-- Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author of Take One Candle Light A Room

"In Leah's Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel."
-- Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

"Thoughtful characterization and beautifully woven prose."
-- Emlyn Chand, power blogger and freelance author

"This is a story that will stay with you for days and weeks."
--Radical Parenting, the award-winning parenting blog written by teens

"In Leah's Wake is an irresistible read."
-- Holly Robinson, author of The Gerbil Farmer's Daughter: A Memoir

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

In Leah's Wake tells the story of sixteen-year-old Leah Tyler, whose perfect life is nearly ruined by choices she makes while in the throes of adolescence.

While rebelling against family members' expectations is a rite of passage for many teenagers, Leah takes it to an extreme. She carelessly sacrifices her friends, her promising career as a soccer player, a potential Ivy League scholarship, "goody-two-shoes" beauty and health, and even her relationship with her parents and younger sister to experiment with life in the fast (and, potentially, fatal) lane. Meanwhile, her younger sister, Justine, bears the burden of coping with "Leah's wake," and the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves behind her.

As Leah's rebellion escalates, the Tylers' once perfect lives unravel and the family members find themselves isolated, the subject of vicious gossip and speculation. Ultimately, it's this loss of connection, the isolation from other people in their small-town community, and the family members' feelings of failure and shame that present the biggest hurdles the Tylers must overcome. In facing the problems that divide and ultimately connect them, the characters grow--in their belief in themselves, in their faith in a higher power, and in their connection to one another. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Paced, Modern Emotional Story 6 April 2011
Full of emotion and sensitivity, this book is well written and hard to put down

There are two, if not three, sorts of wake; I thought this would be about Leah's funeral wake but I was wrong. This is the wake that a thoughtless teenager leaves behind her for her loving family to suffer and gape at when she lives life as she wants without a responsible thought for anybody else.

Leah is a beautiful and talented schoolgirl in her final year before university with everything to work and live for. But with a drug taking/dealing boyfriend who she dotes on, cigarettes (or rather spliffs), hard drugs and bunking off to take her mind off real life, Leah falls into a trap of her version of `grown up' life versus a boring but loving family and home. Parents and grand-parents the world over (or is it just the western world ?) will be cringing on their sofas reading of teenagers living their own lives, making the very same mistakes that they and their parents made but having no real control over how to run their children's lives without alienating them into the bargain.

Leah's younger twelve year old sister, Justine, is totally devoted to Leah, to the point that Miss Justine Goody-goody A * +' tries to emulate her sister by smoking, only half-heartedly does her schoolwork and even joins Leah when she runs away from home. There are financial stresses and strains between the two girls parents', Zoe and Will, with Will working away from home and having the opportunity of the beginnings of an affair which I'm sure he would have started if only the other woman had picked up the phone. Zoe is also on the brink of an illicit friendship with the policeman involved with Leah's several scuffs with the police.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not for me unfortunately 20 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Amazon had this at the top of my recomended list for ages, so together with the rave reviews I went ahead and bought it but sadly it wasn`t for me. I couldn`t identify with any of the characters, and moreover found them intensely irritating. I think being british without childen made this a poorer read for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This could happen to any family.... 24 Jun 2012
By gailpz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel is heavy going, but totally believable and well-written. It deals with a young girl whose family suffer her problems more than she does until late in the story when the balance shifts. I found it quite disturbing and it made me thankful my own daughter is now grown up and came through her teens relatively unscathed! After I'd finished it, I wanted to read something humourous for some light relief - however, for all that, it's a really good read from start to finish.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Readable, Very Believable 14 Sep 2011
Terri Giuliano Long paints a thoroughly believable portrait of a "perfect" family suddenly finding itself falling apart at the seams. When Leah, the previously high-achieving model daughter starts to rebel, the stress of her teenage rebellion upsets the family's already fragile equilibrium, revealing buried resentments and highlighting their inability to communicate with each other.

The book alternates between the point of view of each of the four family members (along with one other character), and this approach works well in that it allows us to get inside their heads, leaving little room for doubt as to where they're coming from. All four of the Tyler family members are well-developed as characters, full of human insecurity and stubbornness. The author does a good job showing how even the most well-meaning people have a tendency to hurt the ones they love the most, and we see each of the characters in turn, including wayward daughter Leah, desperate to make things right, but not knowing how, and being afraid to make the first move for fear of rejection.

The family relationships painted by the author are painfully recognizable; the father so incapable of seeing beyond his daughter's dubious choice of boyfriend that he risks alienating her altogether. The younger daughter doing her best to hold her family together, but finding herself becoming increasingly invisible as her older sibling goes further and further off the rails. The mother, wondering what the hell happened to her life and her family when she wasn't looking. And at the center of the mess, the older daughter desperately seeking some way to prove herself to be "unique", checking off every clichéed box on the bingo card of teenage "rebellion" (smoking, drinking, drugs, sex) as she does so.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Teri Long is an amazing writer! Her description and character development really pulled me in and I think it's a must read for anyone raising teenagers today.

There are so many demands on young people today to be perfect. A teen could easily identify with Leah and the pressures she felt, and hopefully learn from her mistakes.

I even loved the choice of music which furthered the reader's insight into the characters. Terri has an incredible talent for making her characters sympathetic even when they are not on their best behavior.

Although there were times this family seemed to be absolutely falling apart, what truly saved them was ultimately the love they had for one another. I think Terri captured the love the sister's Justine and Leah had for one another so poetically. There were times Justine was the invisible member of the family. It's always the child in crisis who receives most of the parents' attention. But when resentment seemed to be creeping in on Justine, she just seemed to want to protect and love Leah even more. Sisterly love in it's purest form.

I for one am looking forward to Terri's next book!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Too long
Reasonably good story but not the most exciting
Gets somewhat monotonous towards the end.....struggled and just sped read about last add 20per cent.... Read more
Published 14 days ago by mary jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Families
I couldn't put this book down. However I don't want to give anything away.
The reactions of each family member to predicaments Leah finds herself in, and how they each,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by APC
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This story was fascinating, in showing how easy it is to fall from grace. A rebellious teenager vs her parents, you can see both sides of the story and the mistakes that they all... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Monghog
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best I have ever read!!
This really was one of the best books I have ever read. The author fully exposes in an honest but sympathetic way the frailty of not only married, but also family life. Read more
Published 22 months ago by blondemomma
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst book ever
Total drag. No matter what sort of bad writing you might have endured in the past, I can guarantee you WILL stop reading this book halfway through out of pure frustration. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2012 by Gattina
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointed
Having read the good reviews I was really looking forward to this book. What a disappointment. it was badly written, the characters were extremely irritating, and few of the plot... Read more
Published on 27 May 2012 by marie_mfi
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, good prose, not-so-good characters.
In Leah's Wake reads like an early Jodi Picoult novel - there's a similar unfolding emotional saga, alternating perspectives between different family members and the strange,... Read more
Published on 14 May 2012 by H. Whitehead
4.0 out of 5 stars A family in turmoil
A cautionary tale beautifully demonstrating how the behaviour of one member of a family can bring utter chaos and misery to the rest. Read more
Published on 9 May 2012 by Fleur
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Literary Fiction that could well be a True Story

I was kindly sent this, the latest edition of the book by Terri the author for me to read and review. This is a really well written, deeply moving novel. Read more
Published on 8 May 2012 by Sanz
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-crafted novel, with characters displaying real depth
On the surface the Tyler family are just like any other family. They are well respected in the local community. Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by D Brown
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