Review: Leaving Unknown
From the cover:
Sweet Lips, Tennessee . . . Toad Suck, Arkansas . . . Okay, Oklahoma . . . Truth or Consequences, New Mexico . . . Maeve Connelly’s epic road trip is taking her through every colorfully named tiny town in America on her way to the far less imaginatively named Los Angeles, California. With her foulmouthed cockatiel, Oliver, her only companion, Maeve’s heading way off the beaten track with little money and a load of painful baggage she wants to leave behind. But when her beloved rattletrap, “Elsie,” breaks down outside Unknown, Arizona, she finds herself taking a much longer rest stop than she anticipated.
The only mechanic in the vicinity is on an indefinite walkabout, so Maeve’s in for the long haul—and she’ll need to find two jobs to pay for Elsie’s eventual repair. But she’s starting to feel strangely at home among the quirky denizens of Unknown—especially around her new bookstore owner boss—so Maeve is seriously considering saying good-bye to Hollywood for good . . . if she can keep her past troubles from coming to light.
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but it by far exceeded my expectations. Kerry Reichs is able to combine snarky and witty humor with emotions in Leaving Unknown to create a funny and heartfelt story about one woman’s journey towards self discovery and fulfillment.
What I loved most about this book was how well developed all of the characters were. Every character that graced the page of this book had depth and they were well written and endearing. Even Laura, Maeve’s friend in California, was a hoot and I literally laughed out loud at her secretary skills. Each character played a role in helping Maeve grow and become the person she is at the end of the book. The characters were so different from one another yet they came together so perfectly as a community.
Maeve herself was an endearing and charming protagonist and I had no trouble falling in love with her journey towards finding herself. She’s first introduced as a silly and immature adult who couldn’t hold down a job and had difficulty juggling bills. As the story progresses, however, you learn more about Maeve and what’s underneath the surface as well as why she behaves the way she does. Reichs makes it easy to grow attach to Maeve and relate to her story. Her journey towards figuring out what she wanted wasn’t always easy, but it sure was entertaining.
Leaving Unknown is so much more than a simple story about a journey across the country. It’s about growth and discovery as well as learning how to heal from past wounds and moving on. With a great cast of characters and a delightful protagonist, Leaving Unknown, is a funny and emotional book that you shouldn’t miss.