The compelling new novel from the bestselling author of The Woman in the Fifth and The Pursuit of Happiness
On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Jane Howard made a vow to her warring parents – she would never get married and she would never have children.
But life, as Jane discovers, is a profoundly random business. Many years and many lives later, she is a professor in Boston, in love with a brilliant, erratic man named Theo. And then she falls pregnant. Motherhood turns out to be a great welcome surprise – but when a devastating turn of events tears her existence apart she has no choice but to flee all she knows and leave the world.
Just when Jane has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for personal redemption. Convinced that she knows more about the case than the police do, she is forced to make a decision – stay hidden or bring to light a shattering truth.
Like Kennedy’s previous highly acclaimed novels, Leaving the World, speaks volumes about the dilemmas we face in trying to navigate our way through all that fate throws in our path.
“Douglas Kennedy ... is famous for two things: writing insightfully about women's lives, and crafting narratives so utterly gripping as to redefine the concept of unputdownable. In Leaving the World, his ninth novel, these strengths combine to make an unforgettable reading experience ... Don't get on a long-haul flight without it, I say.”
“Kennedy has pulled off another classy page-turner that engages, entertains and consoles... he once more delivers the message that whatever hole you dig for yourself, you're probably not alone.”
“Almost invariably - and courageously - Douglas Kennedy chooses women for his central characters. They tend to be both stylish and troubled and, in Jane Howard's case... tried and tested by more than their fair share of tragedy ... the narrative zips along and has moments of great poignancy”
Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
“An emotionally intense and totally compelling read ”
Woman & Home
“Having vowed at the age of 13 never to have children, years later Jane falls pregnant only to suffer a turn of events which compels to destroy her world. Brilliant.' 5 star review.”
“Smart, stylish and emotionally penetrating, Kennedy is a master story teller who never fails to keep you gripped until the last page”
Sarah Dunant, Author