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Leaving Montana

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  76 reviews
From the Official Website...

"Saying that Benjamin Sean Quinn had “anger issues” was an understatement. For those who knew him for the shortest amount of time, his life was in order: He was physically fit, had a great job which provided him a house in the suburbs and the material things he desired, a loving, monogamous relationship, two happy, healthy daughters and an esta
Paperback, 210 pages
Published January 7th 2014 by Sakura Publishing
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Thomas Whaley Hi Mary! I am sorry it took me so long to respond! All you need to do is click on the stars next to my book on your page and them it gives you a text…moreHi Mary! I am sorry it took me so long to respond! All you need to do is click on the stars next to my book on your page and them it gives you a text book to write a review. If you need more help, send me a private message and I can help you further. (less)
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4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Elyse Walters
When I was in High School, living in an apt. with my mother,
on a very busy street in Oakland California -- Highland Hospital was down the street from us --
I was looking out the living room front window and witness a horrific crash. A fire truck hit a car. Two passages were on that asphalt faster than my eyes knew what hit 'me'.
It was shocking. I was home alone. I couldn't stop watching. ... yet...I certainly can't say I felt great.

Reading "Leaving Montana" was a little like that 'fire truck'
Thomas Whaley
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
You will not be disappointed....
Nancy Steinle gummel
Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley is an excellent read of a the anger of the son of a dysfunctional family. Carmella Russo and Sean Quinn have a toxic marriage. Into this mix they brought in their son, Benny Quinn. His dad worked so much, Benny was naturally a momma's boy. He loved his maternal grandparents and his Aunt Connie. As an adult, Benny has a life partner, Max and two little girls. He's been to many different psychiatrists trying to resolve his anger issues. His father, Sean had affairs ...more
Joan Dash
Jan 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Move over "Glass Castle"!! Step aside "Running with Scissors"!! There's a new dysfunctional family in town, and its called "Leaving Montana".

For those of you looking for a truthful birds eye view, into a complex family dynamic, that spills over with layers of chaos and turmoil, you've come to the right place. This is a story of a boy lost and found, on his journey to heal from his painful past.

I highly recommend this page turner!
Jordan Stivers
First off, this is THE best book I’ve gotten from the First Reads program by far! Leaving Montana is a stunning read in so many ways. Like many others here, I tore though it voraciously, hungry for more of the story to unfold. The characters were real, as in they were complex in the way true people are and your feelings about them change over time. They really all blew me away and seeing the complexity of emotions between characters was great. I liked the first-person narrative, which I usually ...more
Deborah Perham
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read…a lot. My introduction to Leaving Montana was a display at the service desk of the Barnes & Noble at Smith Haven Mall on Long Island (NY). Something intrigued me about it…the cover? The title? You can imagine my delight when I saw it was written by a Long Island author: native Islander Thomas Whaley. A book discussion and signing were scheduled for the following week. I went home and instantly began reading. I found myself turning the first page… then the second and third, and before ...more
Robin Morgan
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-own-books
I received a signed copy of Leaving Montana in connection with an internet giveaway, and the following is my honest opinion for this book.

As I began to read this book I became enthralled by Mr. Whaley writing which had pulled me in effortlessly to the literary fiction which the author states on for the book’s description is based on a true family saga.

The author’s use of the first person throughout the book adds to all the emotions one feels Benjamin Sean Quinn is experiencing as h
Ian Wooder
When I realized that the book was about a gay man and his family, I really didn't know what to expect.

I started to read the first chapter and the narrator is describing himself. For those who are not LGBT or know anyone who is, the narrator comes off as those who don't know gay people would expect, flamboyant, flowery, feminine. I really kind of hesitated to continue but I decided I really needed to give the book a fair shot and to be honest, I am so happy I did.

This book was great. The sexual o
Colm Herron
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book changed me

A great book is one that should affect the reader so much that s/he becomes a changed person after having read it. Based on this one single criterion Leaving Montana is a great book. I finished reading it yesterday and already I am thinking of people I know - especially those I don't like - in a different way. Now I look at them twice, and then look again. And again. When I first encountered Benjamin Sean Quinn I was neutral about him, before becoming antagonistic, but as his
Catherine Stickann
Books that make you look inside yourself and maintain the story always seem to come with a bonus. “Leaving Montana,” by Thomas Whaley is an interesting read that is the study of what makes a family. A serious book that at times can leave you on the edge of your seat. This is the story of a couple’s marriage and loved ones caught in their wake. It is highly emotional.
Whaley writes his first novel with passion. I would have preferred it written in third person, allowing the reader to discover rat
Marlena Smith
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
LEAVING MONTANA is about Benjamin Quinn’s emotional journey… fighting anger, uncovering secrets, and ultimately changing his life forever.

This is a great book that hooks you from the beginning. There are so many emotions throughout the book, and there’s something everyone can relate to. A true emotional ride, complete with well-developed characters that are so real, it’s like you’re walking along with them. There’s a natural flow to the story, so the grammatical errors that are there, don’t dete
Nov 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book on Long Island at a book signing event. It's safe to say I was hoping to like the book and was very pleasantly surprised to find that I loved the book. As a matter of fact, I had trouble putting it down. The story weaves effortlessly from the past to the present with flawed, believable characters steeped in relatable family dysfunction. My favorite passages are when the protagonist is in his own head. I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud. Kudos to Thomas W ...more
Peter Edwards
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am very grateful that I found this book. I laughed and cried while reading it! The author had me fully engaged and I could't put the book down. It's not very often that you find a good book that spans a 40 year period and has you wanting more. I could picture all of the characters as the author was very descriptive in the way he described each and every one of them. The book was very relatable as I have struggled with a difficult childhood. I can't wait for more novels by this author!
Ida Bombaci
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You will not be disappointed!

I love feeling different emotions when I read a book and Leaving Montana certainly brought out many emotions. I was invested in Benjamin's pursuit for inner peace and happiness, but I was also on a journey with the other characters. Leaving Montana was a great read and I was left wanting more of this family that is unique, yet so familiar.
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you want a book about life, try this one. I gave this book 5 stars, if I could give it 10 stars I would. The book was written, with good, and strong characters throughout the story. The story line was great. I enjoyed this story. A good read, and a GREAT BOOK!
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
**First Reads Winner**
Sep 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Long Island, New York author Thomas Whaley debuts with a novel that most assuredly will be considered among the best of the year. It is difficult to believe this is his first novel, though he has written many children's books and poetry and short stories and scripts before pouncing into the literary public eye with LEAVING MONTANA. He obviously has an eye and an ear for the aspects of childhood that influence our adult selves, the true theme of this first novel. Long Island has alw
Wulf Krueger
Sep 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 0_wk_read_2014, arc
This was yet another surprisingly good book from early reviewers. As usual, I won't bother with a summary especially since the description is already pretty good.

The story is basically narrated on two different levels in time which are slowly being merged into the current day. Especially in the beginning, this is done masterfully and effortlessly. It's getting slightly harder to understand towards the end of the book when the time frames are getting nearer to each other but it's still ve
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Leaving Montana is a compelling look inside the life of a dysfunctional family and a son's quest to find peace.

Ben has worked hard to overcome the years of damage he has endured due to the toxic marriage of his parents, Sean and Carmella Quinn. His father is violent, his mother manipulative and both use their son as leverage for personal gain. Ben has finally had enough and refuses to play their games any longer. As a result he suppresses the past instead of dealing with it. When his father reve
Dec 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I sat down on my couch Sunday afternoon watching my Green Bay Packers lose, I decided to start reading this book. Well, I forgot all about the Packers and watching them lose that day, (Mind you, it is not an easy thing to distract me from, it's Aaron Rodgers) Well Benny swept me away and carried me on his shoulders to Montana and back.
As the main character Ben got ready for his trip, he described life in the now, starting with his closet, the music choices for the car ride, as well as, discus
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oooohhh, dysfunctional favorite! Probably due to the fact that I'm a long-time member of one myself.

I believe those of us who can relate to this theme, based on our own experiences, may be a bit more difficult to win over than others. Ultimately, Mr. Whaley got the job done for me. This was a short/quick read that had quite a bit packed into it. I thought he handled the transitions between present day and flashbacks perfectly. He also managed to create a very likeable-unlikeable ma
Tiana Guzman
Nov 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I certainly was not disappointed!

This genre isn't what I usually read, but I had to have this book because I was curious about it. Especially since this book was written by one of my elementary school teachers, Thomas Whaley. Well, I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I read it whenever I could, and when I could it was difficult to put down. Whaley's style of writing really pulls you into the text and it brings you along Benjamin Quinn's journey of closure.

Ben, th
Jessyca Garcia
Jul 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama, fiction
It is hard to remember that Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley is a work of fiction. The family problems and secrets that Whaley writes about are very common but very rarely are they spoken about. Whaley writes about Benjamin Sean Quinn’s life and how he grew up in a household filled with drama and secrets,
Leaving Montana is a book that captures the reader’s interest right away just because Whaley’s main character Benjamin Sean Quinn is so loveable from the start. Benjamin is a 40 year old, gay ma
Devona Jefferson
It has taken me awhile to review Leaving Montana. I wanted to do this book justice because the book means a lot to me for several reasons. I am not going to give a synopsis of the book. Many reviews have already done that. I want to focus on how the book made me and hopefully will make you feel. First, the characters are fleshed out and go beyond interesting. They are intriguing and you want to keep getting to know themore and know why they do what they do. They will infuriate you, you will want ...more
D.M. Cain
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I first began reading this, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. This isn't usually my genre of choice so I was a little out of my comfort zone. However, this book grabbed me from the first chapter and I couldn't stop reading until I had finished it. The plot developed nicely, slowly revealing both the past and the present events and cleverly intertwining the two narratives. To begin with, I was not very fond of the protagonist - I thought him a little shallow and arrogant. My opinion of h ...more
Talk about dysfunctional families, this book has it all, what a ride. The author takes us on an incredible journey of heartache, fear, and survival, but also that of hope, love and joy. What made it even more real was that even though it is a novel, the author said it was inspired by true family saga and that his life parallels that of the main character.
Very well written, this was a book that kept me interested the whole way through, with so many different emotions. I think everyone has certain
This is the first book I've ever won as a Goodreads giveaway and to be perfectly honest although the description of the book to grab my attention, I wasn't expecting all that much from it as the author was unknown to me and this was his first novel.
Leaving Montana took me by storm. It completely sucked me right in and everyone around me could tell how into it I was. I was reading every spare second I had, on coffee break in the morning at work when everyone usually chats, while I ate my breakfas
David Fisher
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Family Story with a Difference.

This is a compassionate story about Ben, the central character, striving to placate the anger he feels. An anger which has its roots in his family past.
The author takes us with Ben on a trip down Memory Lane. But it isn't a pleasant journey. In his attempt to rediscover himself Ben is forced to face the secrets and demons of his dysfunctional family's chaotic past. For only by facing up to the past can he look ahead to a bright future and an end to the anger w
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Go get yourself a copy of Leaving Montana! I really enjoyed this book. It was a departure from the genre fiction I've been reading a lot of lately, and I'm glad I branched out. So, what did I like so much about it? Glad you asked.

1. The Characters - All of the characters were well drawn and three-dimensional. I liked seeing both the best and the worst of these people - it made them real, and it made me care.

2. The Pacing - I enjoy a good build-up, and this book definitely had one. I liked jumpin
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Goodreads Authors...: Seeking Reviews for Literary Fiction - Leaving Montana 3 20 Oct 20, 2015 07:22PM  
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Thomas Whaley was born in 1972 and has lived on Long Island his entire life. He is an elementary school teacher and has always enjoyed writing as a pastime. Thomas currently lives in Shoreham, New York with his husband Carl, their two sons Andrew and Luke, and loyal dog Jake.

LEAVING MONTANA is Thomas Whaley's first novel and also the WINNER of the 2015 ERIC HOFFER Small Press Award, the 2015 INDIE