Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

I was a little on the fence about this book, so I read the reviews to see what other people thought.  It appears there is a wide range of opinions on it. 

The Premise: A family of 4 rent a vacation home in a rural area to get away from city life for a couple weeks.  They aren’t there long when they are awakened in the night by the arrival of the wealthy owners of the house, who have come to seek refuge at their country home.  Something is happening, but they don’t know what or how serious. The couple fled the city when it appeared a power outage was underway.  The power is on at the country home, but cell and TV service are down. The characters are unsure what is going on, as they are only able to see just a glimpse of the notifications on their phone, and then nothing.  They saw “blackout” and “breaking news” and a message that didn’t appear to be in English.  They know nothing more.

They have no way of finding out more. (umm, yes, they could have driven to town, and someone sort of did – this apect of the story annoyed me).  Is this serious or just a small glitch?  And then, they hear a sound that rocks their world and it becomes crystal clear that something is very wrong.  When the book ends, the characters are none the wiser about what is actually happening.  An omnipotent narrator chimes in and gives us a few sneak peaks, but even we are left in the dark.

The lack of answers was indeed frustrating, but also added to the mystery and tension. Overall, I  really did enjoy it, but also found it lacking something.  Maybe I just wanted answers the author wouldn’t give me.  If you pick it up, I would be very curious of what you thought of it.

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