Title: Leaving Unknown: A Novel
Author: Kerry Reichs
Release Date: March 30, 2010
Publisher: Avon A
Genre: Chick Lit
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When she’s fired from her job and her parents refuse to bail her out once again, Maeve Connelly decides it’s time to leave her beloved home state of North Carolina. Her destination? Los Angeles, California. She embarks on an epic roadtrip, visiting towns with memorable names. When her car breaks down in Unknown, Arizona, Maeve temporarily settles down in order to pay for the repairs. But when she starts thinking of Unknown as home, will she be able to set down roots or will she run, like she always does?
It’s been awhile since I’ve read a good chick lit novel, so I was excited to start Leaving Unknown. I love these types of stories, about women who settle down somewhere new and find a place to call home, and I was pleased that this book did not disappoint.
Maeve was a wonderful character, though she did bother me at the beginning of the novel. She seemed to have no direction and was aimlessly wandering, expecting others to bail her out when things got tough. But as the novel progressed, it was clear how much she relied on herself and how strong she could be. Then, after she’d completely won me over, Reichs changed the game completely by revealing a secret from Maeve’s past. If Reichs had chosen to reveal it earlier, the reader’s relationship with Maeve would have been completely different. I absolutely loved the way this was done, and how it changed everything.
The story of Leaving Unknown was solid as well. Mostly, it was Maeve’s journey to come to terms with her past, and what she considers her horribly bad luck. There were some wonderful secondary characters along the way that really made the reading experience colorful and fun. I have to admit, I thought the last few chapters of the book dragged because I knew exactly how the book was going to end, but once I was finished I appreciated how Reichs tied up the story and brought Maeve some closure.
Leaving Unknown was a light, enjoyable read with a lot of heart. Reichs writes her characters well, and readers will find themselves emotionally invested in Maeve’s journey. It’s a book that perfectly showcases chick lit’s mature, sophisticated side, free of boyfriend quests, glitzy jewelry, and brand name dropping. Fans of chick lit and women’s fiction, as well as novels of self-discovery, will really enjoy this book.