Leaving the WorldBook - 2010
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 comes to discover, 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 Jane 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 she has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for some sort of 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.
Douglas Kennedy's exceptional new novel is a portrait of the way we live now, of the many routes we follow in the course of a single life, and of the arbitrary nature of destiny. Like his previous highly acclaimed novels it is also a compulsive read - and one which speaks volumes about the dilemmas we face in trying to navigate our way through all that fate throws in our path.