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.
From Kerry Reichs, author of The Best Day of Someone Else's Life, comes a poignant and very funny new novel about finding yourself after finding yourself in the middle of nowhere.
I could tell Leaving Unknown was going to be a fun and quirky book but I wasn't prepared for how spot-on it would be. Maeve is the type of person you just want to be around because she's fun, spunky and different! But what we (or at least I) didn't realize at first was that she was hiding something, something that had a big impact on her life but doesn't share with others. Other reviews talk about what it is she's hiding but I really liked reading it in the book and discovering it for myself, the hints all adding up!
I loved the little quirks about this book. Maeve's cockatiel Oliver, which had some hilarious phrases he shot out at the most horrible times and a set of little sculptures Maeve's mother made for her when she leaves on her journey. And just the way Maeve interacts with the other characters made her so endearing, she was such a caring person that tries her best but sometimes falls a little short, but definitely not for a lack of trying.
The secondary characters were fabulous, especially bookstore owner Noah, doctor Samuel and co-worker and friend Tuesday. The author cultivates this community not unlike one of my other favorites, Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls.
Every page was a pleasure to read, I laughed (a lot), worried for Maeve and wanted her to find her place in this world. I was very pleased to find out the author's first book, The Best Day of Someone Else's Life following Maeve's sister Vi, it's sure to be just as good!
Leaving Unknown was released on March 30th 2010
Genre: Chick Lit
Review copy provided by the publisher