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When You Go Away

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  24 reviews
From the acclaimed author of The Matter of Grace and Her Daughter's Eyes-a novel about a mother of three who, abandoned by her husband, tries to run from her problems.. But when she returns, it's only the beginning of her family's journey. ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published December 31st 2003 by New American Library (first published April 2003)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  148 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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♡ ari ♡
Sep 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was sent this book and one other by the author (signed) after I won an ACR of her finale of the Beautiful Beings trilogy.

It's possible that I didn't like this book because I'm not a mother. But even so, I found myself appalled -- besides the fact that this is (apparently) a jarring true story -- that a woman would simply abandon her three children, one of which suffers from a degenerative muscular disorder, after a breakdown.

Besides the content and plot of the book, I couldn't get into the w
Amberly Crowford
Jun 07, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book was kind of lame and pretty much went on and on and on. I felt like it had an overall sympathy for the wrong person, but alas, it ended up being just like the story in real life would've been. In other words, it was really uneventful. ...more
Mar 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
This is an easy read. It speaks of a mother who abandons her children after a divorce and caring for 3 kids--including one with severe disabilities--as a result of depression with a psychotic break. Severeral intriguing issues but the author doesn't explore them in enough depth for my taste. ...more
Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it
The book was a fast read, it kept my interest and I wanted to see how it all ended. There were several intriguing issues but I would have liked the author to explore them more.
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an intense novel. And I thought I knew how it would end, but I was happily wrong. A good solid story that I could not put down.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Serious types
Recommended to Ionia by: Saw it on Amazon
I find this book somewhat difficult to review. First of all, I would like to congratulate the author on her ability to bring to light emotional family issues that rarely see the fiction department and for doing such a good job of making them prominent in her story lines.

That being said, this is a good book, but in my estimation, not the most enjoyable one in terms of relaxing enjoyment to be had with a novel. Is it possible for fiction to borderline on being too real? I would have to say yes.

May 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Again, I chose this book from the Bull Moose fifty cent box. I read the back of the book thinking that it would be an interesting read. It definitely was. I didn't know entirely what to expect when I started this book. The title and summary were kind of vague, but overall I would say that I sort of liked this book. The writing style was a bit confusing, only because it wasn't from someone's point of view. It was almost like an outsider was writing the story. They talked about everyone in the thi ...more
Mar 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction

"What happens when a mother of three, abandoned by her husband, one day reaches the breaking point and does the unthinkable - simply gets in her car and drives away?

For Peri Mackenzie, that day comes months after her husband leaves, robbing her of all financial and emotional support. Months after she has been caring for her severely disabled daughter and her two teenagers with no help from anyone. While thirteen-year-old Carly does her best to handle
Laura Macmillan
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a difficult book to read, but I just keep thinking about it.

It deals with the fall-out when a young mother gives way to depression after trying to deal with her divorce and caring for her disabled daughter and two young teenagers, all without any financial (or other) support from her ex, or from her own adult family members. The results of her "lost" week are long-standing and difficult, not only for her and her children, but also other for other extended family members on both sides.

Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
So, a mother of three decides one day that she just can't take the pressure anymore of caring for her severely handicapped child and instintively knows that if she stays another minute that she will hurt somebody. She realizes this in retrospect but it doesn't make it any easier to try to win her children back when she has to go to court.
It's very sad and truly makes me wonder how someone gets through each day caring for someone that is totally dependent on you for anything, and you know they
Aug 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I know I liked the book but was at my Grandmothers and couldn't get online to put in a review right away while the book was fresh in my mind. I'm trying to get the books i've read while away from home and put some sort of a rating and a review if possible.

From Good Reads: From the acclaimed author of The Matter of Grace and Her Daughter's Eyes-a novel about a mother of three who, abandoned by her husband, tries to run from her problems.. But when she returns, it's only the beginning of her famil
Beth (MrsGinTN)
Wow! This book is so much better than the other book that I have read by this author. Thank goodness. That being said I really enjoyed this book. It was heart wrenching without going so far into detail that your brain hurt. The emotions came across so strongly that I didn't feel like I needed to go deeper into detail about what everyone was feeling or had wrong with them. ...more
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
When a recently-divorced woman descends into depression, has a psychotic break, and abandons her 3 children (including a 5-yo with multiple disabilities), her family struggles to find a new way forward. This was very good, sad, but riveting.
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
This was a pretty good book about a divorced mother of 3, severely depressed. She abandons her kids one day, leaving them to survive on their own. The story was decent, but the writing was fairly basic.
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Very good
books I've read ...more
Jun 25, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Essex Free Library Book Sale 6/3/2011
Trish Ruthven
Apr 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
This book was heartbreaking.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoys a story about family.
Recommended to Dawn by: My Mom
This was the second book I read by this author. I really enjoyed it. I felt bad for the children and sad to think that this happens in real life.
Karen Skamiera
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I found this book to be very depressing:(
Jerrianne Wallace
Jun 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
predictable quick read.
Thomas White
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Another good one from Jessica. She can get inside an issue like no one else and make you feel the logic behind insanity.
Aug 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
It was heartbreaking, sad and yet very real. Didn't want to put the book down. ...more
Feb 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
REALLY liked this book. would most def recommend it! so go READ IT!
rated it really liked it
Sep 21, 2008
rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2011
Anne-Marie Stacke
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2013
Kayrene Smither
rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2014
rated it it was ok
Jun 20, 2013
rated it really liked it
Apr 16, 2012
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Jessica Barksdale’s fifteenth novel, The Play’s the Thing, and second poetry collection, Grim Honey, are both forthcoming in spring 2021.

Recently retired, she taught at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California for thirty-two years and continues to teach novel writing online for UCLA Extension and in the online MFA program for Southern New Hampshire University.

Born and raised in the San F

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