Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Leave the World Behind

 Leave the World Behind 

Author: Rumaan Alam

Publisher: Ecco

Year: 2020

Happy Wednesday! There’s still snow falling in my little corner of the world. 

Amanda, Clay, and their two kids head out on vacation to a remote part of Long Island. It should be an idyllic week in a luxurious rental house. Not long after their vacation is under way, an older Black couple knocks on the door late one night. Ruth and G.H. were heading home from a concert in NYC when a blackout suddenly occurred. They decided the safest thing to do would be to wait out the back out at their vacation house even though it was rented. Amanda and Clay have now way to check the other couple’s story. The vacation house still has electricity but the internet and television is out and there’s no cell signal in the area. Seemingly cut off from the rest of the world, Amanda and Clay wrestle with how to keep their family safe and the rising panic of the unknown. 

I almost abandoned this book at the very beginning, but little by little it kept pulling me in. What caused the blackout? Why is the internet and television out? What’s happening? The discomfort, fear, and panic rises as information is cut off and some inexplicable things happen. 

Like the characters, the reader is pretty much kept in the dark too. The author gives the reader some hints at what’s happening in the world, but never the full picture. We’re left to our imaginations to fill in the blanks.  And that might be the scariest thing of all. 

This is a thought provoking look at fear, trust, and panic at the unknown. With information at our fingertips, how do we react when we’re cut off from everything we know? 

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