Book Review: Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam
Leave the World Behind
Author: Rumaan Alam
Published: October 6, 2020
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: November 13-20, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older black couple—it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area—with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service—it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple—and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
Suspenseful and provocative, Rumaan Alam’s third novel is keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped—and unexpected new ones are forged—in moments of crisis.
This is yet another novel with an interesting premise, but fell very short for me. From the description, it seemed like Leave the World Behind was going to be an apocalyptic thriller, but it was not, it was more of a slow burner of a novel, and it fell through for me. Then the ending left too many questions unanswered, including what was even happening.
The novel does touch on race, class, family and shows what the world might look like when it is unknown times (much like we are in now). Alam’s writing style did not work for me. There is a bit of excessive vulgarity in regards to body anatomy and bodily functions. Alam is very ‘wordy’ with his words, which is interesting as this novel is a shorter one of around 230 pages.
This one unfortunately did not work for me so I cannot recommend it.