Leaving the World Paperback – 18 Feb 2010
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`In a novel remarkably devoid of mawkishness, Kennedy has pulled off another classy page-turner that engages, entertains and consoles... he once more delivers the message that whatever hole you dig for yourself, you're probably not alone.'
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Inside Flap
Aged thirteen, Jane makes a vow to herself and to her feuding parents she will never marry, have children and lead the resentful life they chose.
Years later, now a Harvard professor living with Theo, a filmmaker, Jane falls unexpectedly pregnant. She begins to warm to the idea of motherhood, but then a devastating turn of events takes the decision out of her hands in a way she could never have predicted.
Her familiar world torn apart, Jane feels forced to leave her old life behind, and piece by piece begins to destroy the little that is left. She resigns from her job, cuts all ties with friends and family and moves to a place where no one will find her. Isolated, she feels she has finally succeeded in leaving her world.
Yet when a young girl disappears, prompting a high-profile police investigation, Jane is drawn in. Convinced that the person at the heart of the case is much closer to her new community than anyone realises, she has to make a decision stay hidden or bring to light a shocking truth. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a long book and it takes a while to come together. For the first hundred pages or so I was interested enough to keep reading but not so gripped that I couldn't put it down. Jane was not very likeable and I also got tired of the way that every relationship she had was so dramatic, every character so unbelievably larger than life: her mother, her father, her first boyfriend, her second boyfriend, her boss, her husband, his business partner...
Having said that, as I read on I felt more and more caught up in Jane's story and I find myself liking her more and more. Douglas Kennedy has always had a talent for creating complex female characters and for communicating the misery of intense depression without getting bogged down in it. The momentum keeps building with some quite unexpected twists. I was riveted by the book's final third which I read without stopping, unable to put the book down. In many ways this book picks up pieces from all the best of Kennedy's novels - there are segments that are reminiscent of The Job, A Special Relationship, The Pursuit of Happiness and The State of the Union. It's a great read, well worth your time.
I truly have awaited the release of his novels with great anticipation - however - The Woman In The Fifth was such a huge departure from his normal writing that I really did not understand why he had written it. I swallowed hard though and immediately requested Leaving The World in the hope that the last books reviews had persuaded him to return to his normal writing style.
Instead Leaving The World is very slow - by page 250 - 300 I was still waiting for the storyline to pick up. The story of Jane, the university professor whose life seems to go into freefall is so unbelievably slow and the character melancholy and self indulgent. You just long for her to deal with at least something in her life constructively. Many people on this site have written that the last third of the book redeemed it for them. For me it just left me confused about what exactly I was reading. It turned into some sort of detective novel with the lead character getting involved in the hunt for a missing teenager.
After two poor novels I'm not sure how I feel about reading another Kennedy novel - if you are thinking of reading this author then please don't make this your first book by him. He is an awesome writer when he gets it spot on and unfortunately this book fails to deliver the things I love about him.
I fear Douglas Kennedy has become a victim of his own success following the brilliant story lines in Pursuit of Happiness; A Special Relationship; The Job and The Big Picture. His subsequent books all lack the same spark and seem to be written to please publisher's deadlines rather than entertain the reader. I will continue to read any future offerings in the hope that he can recapture that old magic, but Douglas Kennedy is no longer top of my favourite author list.
In some ways, Douglas Kennedy's new novel reminded me of Krzysztof Kieslowski's film, Three Colours - Blue, which tells the story of a grieving widow who, in the face of terrible tragedy, abandons her old life and estranges herself from friends and family in an effort to ensure that life can never hurt her so badly again. However, the difference is that while tragic events befall the heroine in Three Colours - Blue, Jane is let down by almost all of the people who have any importance in her life and the legacy of her parents affects how she ultimately lives her life.
There were times when I wanted to shake Jane and yell at her to change the way she had decided to live and to take the help that is offered to her, which is testimony to Kennedy's skills as a writer to flesh out his characters and to elicit those feelings of empathy in me. There were many times when she could have changed the course of her life but chose not to.
Leaving the World is not, in my opinion, a light-hearted beach read, but its strength lies in the fact that, despite all of us being prey to random forces over which we have no control, there is hope that we can overcome those circumstances.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Book arrived in excellent condition - good as new. Great price & very speedy delivery. What more can you ask for ?!!
Another fantastic Douglas Kennedy novel, as per usual. Read more
I enjoyed most of it..probably the first three quarters until the heroine decided to play private detective to solve the disappearance of a young girl. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Sno-Bird
I really don't understand the one and two star reviews. This is a clever and absorbing book and I find it strange that so many people have failed to be captivated or touched by... Read morePublished 18 months ago by RoverP
By times trying for the profound and yet unconvincing. Telling us everything without letting us discern for ourselves. A character I wasn't always engaged with. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Heather Finch
This is the latest Douglas Kennedy book I have read, and although I thoroughly enjoyed it for the most part, there was a section towards the end when I didn't find it as cohesive... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Gill-EJ
Good read but I doubt one person could have this amount of bad luckPublished 21 months ago by Brenda McAleavey