Tuesday, October 8, 2013

TLC BOOK TOURS and REVIEW: Leaving Haven by Kathleen McCleary


Getting what you want is just the beginning. Now you have to discover what you truly need. . . .

Georgia Bing and Alice Kinnaird have always been there for each other. Eager to help her best friend have another baby after several miscarriages, Alice donates one of her eggs. When Georgia learns she's going to have the baby boy she's always wanted, she's thrilled—until a devastating discovery destroys her dreams.

While Alice is happy to help her friend get pregnant, she also feels a twinge of disappointment that her own life is missing something . . . something she desperately craves. On the surface, Alice has everything—a busy social life, a great job, a faithful husband, an amazing teenage daughter. But her well-ordered world is knocked off its axis when she's tempted by a forbidden passion that threatens the bonds of friendship, marriage, and motherhood that sustain her.

As the safety of their past is shattered, Georgia and Alice must embark on journeys of self-discovery—odysseys filled with surprising challenges that will test them and force them to confront the truth about their lives . . . and the choices they've made.

352 pages
Expected publication: October 1st 2013 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published September 3rd 2013)
ISBN 0062106252 (ISBN13: 9780062106254)

About the Author
from the book's back cover

Kathleen McCleary teaches writing at American University. A former columnist for HGTV.com, Kathleen's writing has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, USA WEEKEND, Good Housekeeping, More, Health, and Ladies' Home Journal. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Check out the author's website
Friend the author on Facebook
Follow the author on Twitter

My Thoughts
Georgia sat up in her hospital bed, holding her baby. She studied his little face-- just visible beneath the striped blue and pink knit cap the nurse had pulled over his head after cleaning him off. She tried to remember how Liza had looked as a newborn, all those years ago. But this baby didn't look like Liza, maybe because there was nothing of her, Georgia, in this baby. 
Alice, a school teacher, is always so put together, in control, and health conscious. She didn't have a very good role model for motherhood growing up, so she feels inadequate as a mother, and is happy with her one daughter and desires no more children. Her husband, Duncan, is reliable, dependable, calm, patient. He's a good man, but has perhaps become a little too predictable.

Georgia is Alice's best friend. A cake maker, she is more easy-going and creative and free-spirited. She had a wonderful mother that she lost at a young age, and then became a substitute mother herself to her younger sisters. So she is confident in her role as a parent. However she yearns for another child and has been struggling to have one for years. Her husband John is a chef and restaurateur. He is passionate and unkempt, and seems perhaps a little uninvolved in the life of his daughter.

Alice and Georgia met when their daughters were babies, and they have been best friends ever since. After years of Georgia attempting to have another child, and failing, Alice offers up her eggs to help her friend achieve her dream. But shortly before the birth of the child, a shocking revelation rocks Georgia's very foundation, and everyone is left trying to navigate the confusion and pain in the aftermath.

This story is really character-driven. From the slow building of Georgia and Alice’s lives, and the dynamics between them and their husbands and with each other, to additional characters like Georgia’s sisters. The characters are what really make this story.

The story is psychological in nature, delving into the complexities of friendship, of lines crossed, of families fracturing. It really shines a light on a fascinating concept, which I don't want to divulge, for fear of giving too much away. But this story actually had twists that took me by surprise, and that is rare.

Told through alternating points of view, switching back and forth between Alice and Georgia, as well as through alternating times, from present to months before and back to a year before, you do need to pay attention to keep track of what is going on.

The book is divided into three parts. First the Prologue, which is present day.Then Part One, which flips around from present day to past, building up the storyline and characters a bit at a time. Then Part 3, which moves on from the present day.

My final word: This story was fresh and original. Like a bread crumb trail, it shares little tidbits, allowing the story to slowly build incrementally. Absorbing and emotional, I loved this one! It was able to reach deep within me on occasion and touch someplace precious, but perhaps more importantly, it was able to surprise me. That is something even more special. This is one of those books bound to be a favorite of 2013!

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for including me on this tour! Check out the complete tour schedule:

Tuesday, October 1st: Sweet Southern Home
Wednesday, October 2nd: Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
Thursday, October 3rd: Kritters Ramblings
Monday, October 7th: Book-alicious Mama
Tuesday, October 8th: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World
Wednesday, October 9th: BookNAround
Thursday, October 10th: Seaside Book Corner
Monday, October 14th: bookchickdi
Wednesday, October 16th:  A Novel Review
Tuesday, October 22nd: Reading Lark

Buy Now: 

Barnes and Noble

Cover: B+
Writing Style: A
Characters: A
Storyline/Plot: A
Interest/Uniqueness: A

My Rating:


I received a copy of this book to review through TLC Book Tours and the publisher, in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not financially compensated in any way, and the opinions expressed are my own and based on my observations while reading this novel. The copy that I received was an ARC, and any quotes could differ from the final copy.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Fresh and original are a great combination! I'm glad to see how much you enjoyed this one.

Thanks for being on the tour.