Title: Start Without Me
Author: Joshua Max Feldman
Genre/Audience: Fiction, adult
Publication: William Morrow, 2017
Source: For review, TLC Book Tours
The author of the critically acclaimed The Book of Jonah explores questions of love and choice, disappointment and hope in the lives of two strangers who meet by chance in this mesmerizing tale that unfolds over one Thanksgiving day
Adam is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who is home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. Surrounded by his parents and siblings, nieces and nephews—all who have seen him at his worst—he can’t shake the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he’ll always be the one who can’t get it right.
Marissa is a flight attendant whose marriage is strained by simmering tensions over race, class and ambition. Heading to her in-laws for their picture-perfect holiday family dinner, her anxiety is intensified by the knowledge she is pregnant from an impulsive one-night-stand.
In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward.
My daughter asked me to review this for her and once I read the back description, I was intrigued. It seemed like fate that Adam and Marissa met up at probably the lowest point in both of their lives. I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason and sometimes people show up in your life and you are not really sure why.
This was such a good story and I finished it in two nights (and not just because StephtheBookworm never gives me a reasonable amount of time to read a book!). The characters are flawed, but likeable, and even though they are both in terrible situations of their own making, I did feel bad for them. They both regret the terrible choices that have led them to where there are and I really couldn’t wait to see how it turned out for them.
This is a new author for me and it’s always exciting to discover someone I haven’t read before. I would definitely recommend this and look forward to his future books!!!
Review by mom, Kim.