Whatever, I LOVED this book, I think Caroline Leavitt has written a timeless book here that stirred up so much emotion and thoughts in me as a I read it. The book is in a nutshell about a young 19 year old woman called Lee, she gives birth to her first baby but leaves the hospital the day after, leaving behind her husband Joe and her baby daughter. A massive appeal is run across America to find her, she is listed as disappeared, she leaves behind her a wake of grief and unanswered questions as Joe tries to carry on life without her, raising his baby daughter he calls Joanna alone, with a broken heart. It's a book that focuses on relationships, thoughts, feelings and it's magical how Caroline Leavitt writes an entire novel JUST focusing on this mostly how it never for one moment becomes boring. Lee is carrying on with her life as is Joe, everybody is moving on. New people enter the lives of Lee and Joe, they play their part in the overall story that develops. I so want to share so much with you, but it really would spoil where the book ends up heading. Don't try to imagine the ending of this novel, just read it and go with each word, don't rush it, relax into it, let it take you to it's final destination. If you want to know what happens to Joe and Lee and little Joanna, if you are interested in knowing the impact Lee's leaving has on other people including herself then do read it.
In a book that takes on way too many characters and way too many issues and not nearly enough subtlety, characterization, development, or craft, Lee is a selfish and angry young lady who, for reasons unbeknownst to me, catches the eye of not only every guy in her high school but in particular one sad sack of pathetic named Jim. Jim is your stock character wussy loser boy who is so crazy about Lee despite or perhaps because of how outright cruel and obnoxious she is. Ok, so I guess there IS a less sympathetic character than Lee. Not surprisingly, Lee does abandon ship despite the binding marriage and, forget that, does so the morning she gives birth to her baby girl.
It was sad seeing the joy, the anticipation of this young husband, when all along you read and felt the despair of the young mother at the same time. Jim tries to make a life for himself and succeeds in doing so, all the time balancing looking after the baby and trying to forget his wife. Jim obviously hadn't got over her abandonment and obviously felt something for her because he kept making excuses to his wife which were for the most part lame and inexcusable.
Last month, I came across Anita Shreve's EDEN CLOSE (her debut) and now one of Caroline Leavitt's early (her third?) published novel, INTO THIN AIR (1993). We meet Lee, a young wife/new mother who literally walks away from her life, leaving her infant daughter and husband behind. And while we often think of men leaving the families (not exactly the honorable thing to do but it happens nontheless), INTO THIN AIR chronicles a woman leaving her young husband and infant daughter without a trace, a done very deliberately.
this is about a girl that ran away with a boy from high school, the got married and moved to another city where he went to college. he had a car accident looking for his wife and ended up in the hospital. her daughter and husband went on with their life, he married the nurse and the daughter didnt want anything to do with her.
I read Girls in Trouble: A Novel first and was excited to find this title in a used book store.
I could not really feel sorry for Lee. She had a lot of bad things happen to her, but that is no reason to abandon a child.
3.0 out of 5 stars -- "Why didn't people belong to the ones who tried to love them?" This is a story that triggers many emotions, but I found it hard to like the book because I despised nearly all of the characters or felt so sorry for a couple of them that I almost stopped reading it several times! I've read a couple of this author's other books and have liked them so perhaps this was the odd one that didn't ring true for me -- perhaps my compassion button was turned off. The messy, fractured family tale told here did not find that sympathetic or understanding reader in me and ultimately, I didn't care what happened to Lee at all nor will I wonder how things eventually turned out for Jim, Lila and Joanna.
Is This Tomorrow was long listed for the Main Readers Prize, a WNBA Reading group Choice, A San Francisco Chronicle Lit Pick/Editor's Choice, a Jewish Book Club Pic and the winner of an Audiofile Earphones Award.