Mystery and Suspense Leave the World Behind

Dec. 19, 2020


Leave the World Behind

Rumaan Alam

reviewed by Marialyce Weinreich


Don’t you wish you could leave the world behind? These days life has become harried, fearful, and downright blood-pressure-raising. One couple and their two teenage children decide to do just that, leaving their busy NYC life for a week in the environs of Long Island.

All seems idyllic until there’s a knock on the door and a black couple presents themselves as the owners of the home. Of course, there is no proof to their claim and of course there seems to have been a tragedy in NYC, a blackout they say. However, who can tell with cell service, TV, and radio transmissions not working? Here these people are, all stuck together in a harrowing situation that only promises to get worse. Then a strange noise presents itself, a noise so viral, it cracks glass. Strange occurrences happen and as the teenage son takes ill, the tension of the story increases as the fear of the unknown presents itself more and more.

There has been a tragedy, that much is ever so clear as the author drops bits and pieces of information. He presents us with a character study, the hidden, the unknown prejudices, the feelings of sex and age, the things we are all presented with daily. This is a character-directed book, one that bears a resemblance to the book Birdbox. The question that bubbles up is who do you trust in a world where one is aware of nothing external? Not knowing turns our world upside down, into a frenzy of self-preservation and survival.

These days we are keenly aware of the aforementioned. Battling a virus that seems to be a terror of the unknown as we are (unfortunately) bombarded with it constantly. Perhaps, we would be better not knowing as these couples are; but fear of the unknown is insidious.

I enjoyed this book, although the pace is slow and the ending leaves much to conjecture and think about. I do recommend this story if you are a reader of character books, and dabble in stories of the unknown.

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