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In Leah's Wake

3.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,849 ratings  ·  375 reviews
A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace

At the heart of the seemingly perfect Tyler family stands sixteen-year-old Leah. Her proud parents are happily married, successful professionals. Her adoring younger sister is wise and responsible beyond her years. And Leah herself is a talented athlete with a bright collegiate future. But living out her father’s lost dreams, and
Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 1st 2010 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 3.22  · 
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Melissa Storm
Zoe and Will Tyler led the perfect life in suburbia—a beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters.

Their eldest, Leah, was widely considered the best soccer player in the state of Massachusetts; she was right on track for receiving an Ivy league scholarship, and from there, no one had any doubt that she’d live the perfect, privileged life.

Their younger daughter Justine was far more responsible than seemed possible for her twelve years. An excellent student, she was set o
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. - Jane Howard

Leah Tyler is not your average teen. she is a star football player and her school work is brilliant . her father Will and her mother Zoe could not have been more proud to have a daughter like her. her sister Justine looks up to her, too. everything seemed perfect for Leah until she gets involved with Todd Corbett and his crowd. suddenly, her future and that of h
Jul 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Review: In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long
Synopsis provided by Goodreads

The Tyler family had the perfect life – until sixteen-year-old Leah decided she didn’t want to be perfect anymore.

While Zoe and Will fight to save their daughter from destroying her brilliant future, Leah’s younger sister, Justine, must cope with the damage her out-of-control sibling leaves in her wake.

Will this family survive? What happens when love just isn’t enough?

Jodi Picoult fans will love this beautifully writt
Mar 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I wavered on whether to give this book two or three stars..I ended up with three, because it was engrossing if not exactly well written. It needed a good editor between mispellings and errors, including that the author mispelled Kurt Cobain's name. (Really? She doesn't look that old!). I have to say that reading the book felt like watching a train wreck. The characters were not likable and were more cliched than realistic. Leah, we are told over and over again although we see no evidence of this ...more
May 04, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: not-so-fast
I understand that this is a first book and that the author teaches at Boston College. It is tremendously difficult to write a novel and to publish it, even self publish it. I respect those who do it. Because of that, I feel a certain obligation to say why I rated this one star.

The premise of the book: parents dealing with a 17-year-old daughter who goes from a soccer star with good grades to a drug user, school drop-out, dating a loser with a police record all in about 10 minutes flat.

I found
May 17, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars. This book really disappointed me. It sounded so good, but I was not impressed once I got into it. Here are my problems: 1) The writing was all over the place and Long would completely switch topics without any transitions and I was often wondering "wait what is going on now?" 2) The editing sucked! There is no nice way to put it. I found errors throughout the whole book and they weren't minor...they were distracting and annoying. 3) The time the book was set (2000's) did not match up ...more
Leah Petersen
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: contemporary
In Leah's Wake is a timeless look at teenagers, families, marriages, and what happens when you put them all together in a cage and let them have at each other. (OK, maybe not exactly that...)

Now I've never known of a Leah who was a know-it-all, rebellious teen, but I suppose it could happen. (*ahem*) But where this book really hits home is the truth in it. It takes the timeless story of growing up and loving and being loved, and it looks at it from four different angles: Will, the father and bre
Stacy Eaton
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
In my job, I see these kinds of relationship between parents and kids, kids and other kids, kids and drugs and the downward spiral that it takes them all on. Being a teenager is hard these days, and Ms. Long did a great job showing a honest and deep problem that plaques so many teenagers, young adults and families these days.

This novel was written in a smooth style with a passion for detail. The characters, even the minor ones showed great depth and were easy to visualize throughout the story.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is painfully honest. What happens when a perfect daughter decides to completely change her life? What are the consequences for the rest of her family and siblings? The reader will be introduced to the concept of extreme irony in this novel-the foremost being that the mother of the wayward daughter is a teacher who promotes the best possible futures for others' children. The daughter meets a secondary character, Todd, and her life disintegrates from there. The reader will wonder at the ...more
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
The Tyler's had a perfect life, happily married with two perfect teenaged daughters. Then Leah, the oldest, starts rebelling. Their lives very quickly fall apart as everyone struggles through their new reality.

This is a powerful story about one girl's rebellion, and the affect it has on her entire family. Told in alternating perspectives from all family members, it is a heartbreaking look at how easily things can fall apart.

It is very easy to see and believe how Leah's rebellion started, and the
M.B. Mulhall
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
When I first read the synopsis for In Leah’s Wake, it struck me as interesting, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to relate. Being single and childless left me thinking it would be a good story but I might not walk away with the kind of reaction the author was hoping for. That idea changed as I got further into the book. Perhaps I don’t have children of my own, but I do deal with kids on a daily basis and I hope that I am teaching them good life lessons. Also, I found I knew variations of ...more
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2011-reads
In Leah's Wake is a powerful novel about one teenager's decisions and the destruction it can displace on an entire family. The characters were well-crafted and you cannot help but feel connected to them. I wanted to scream, cry, shake some of them. I personally believe that this book can give most readers something to hang onto, whether you have raised teens or not. ...more
Very good read! If life hadn't kept getting in the way, I would've finished this a long time ago. Hard to put down. ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Book #1 of The Great Book Exchange of 2020
This was a book given to me in a book exchange. Is not the type of fiction novel I normally would pick out.
Did not find any of the characters deepening their narrative as the plot progressed. Was all very textbook and predictable in the stereotypes that were painted. I hoped that the ending would provide a twist but it fell flat.
Disclaimer: The fact that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review has not affected my rating. This review expresses my honest opinions.

If you look at my recent ratings on Goodreads, lately I’ve been handing out lots of overall ratings of 5’s or 4’s. I feel like I’m just reading so many quality books right now, they all deserve these ratings. Luckily, In Leah’s Wake is one of those books, that I feel definitely deserves a rating of 5 stars.

The plot is definitely not s
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it

I found this book by accident but as soon as i read the blurb i knew i had to read it. Something similar happened in my family -- that something didn’t involve drugs -- but we suffered from the same destructive effects. My family never recovered so i wasn't expecting a happily-ever-after ending. What drew me in was my identification with Justine but i stayed, pulled in by the rest of the characters as they struggled with their pain and frustration and their lack of control . I think that Terri L
Sandra Stiles
Jul 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The family that seems like they have it all together can be very dysfunctional. No matter what your profession, when your family is having problems, everyone in the family is affected. Leah was the member of the family who seemed to have everything. That is until she met her boyfriend. Instead of pulling him up to her standards, she lowered her own. She started drinking, smoking and doing drugs. Then she is kicked off of the soccer team. Leah makes one bad decision after another. She blames ever ...more
Elizabeth Marshall
Jul 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is as awesome as it gets!
A compelling and brilliantly executed portrayal of the trials and tribulations faced by two teenagers and their family, ‘In Leah’s Wake’ is a warm, beautiful and frightening microcosm of modern day family life.

The novel sees a sixteen year old girl abandoning her goal in life- soccer – to adopt a lifestyle of drugs, drink and reckless behaviour. Her relationship with no-good boyfriend Todd leads her down a path of self destruction. This relationship, and the tu
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Will and Zoe have the "perfect" suburbia life from the outside, yet if you were to look on the inside it's falling apart. Zoe is a life coach, and a counselor, yet she can't handle her own life at home. Will has his own business and is gone all the time, leaving Zoe to handle the girls on her own. Leah is the star soccer player on her high school soccer team and things are going great until she meets Todd. She believes she has fallen in love. She's late getting home one night, she tries sneaking ...more
Beth Peninger
Eh. About halfway through the book I had just about had it with Leah, her parents, and the story line. It became very tedious to read. I appreciate Long's attempt to try and write a realistic account of a troubled teen and the ripple effects it has on a family but this account was stereotypical of what a troubled teen looks like and behaves like. It REALLY annoyed me after a while.
Leah is a super star soccer player and pushing the limits with her family. She's recently started dating a boy to ol
Sue Owen
Jul 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
There were a lot of truths in this book and at times it was hard for me to read. Not because of the writing, but because the story hit close to home as it probably does for a lot of people. Troubled families are becoming the norm rather than the exception. Either that or we are just being made aware of them more often. This book was very well written and great care was taken to not label the rebellious, insensitive and scared teen as “the bad guy” because truly she isn’t.

I’ve read many books lik
Barbara Elsborg
Sep 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm sorry but I didn't like it at all. It was a book club choice, not mine, a story of a dysfunctional teenager and the effects of her fall from grace on the family. I wanted to feel some connection with just one of them but I couldn't. I found myself wanting to skip pages to see if anything happened but nothing really did, it was just one long very miserable journey. I'm sure -sadly - that life is like that for some families and maybe some teenagers will identify with Leah and/or Justine but I ...more
Rachel Thompson
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
LOVED it! Terri is a great writer. The portrait of this family torn apart by a rebellious daughter influenced by a bad boy was quite real. I felt for all the characters and all of their internal, and external, dramas. I loved how she created such rich character studies for each of the family members and allowed us into their very real lives. I could especially relate to the helplessness the parents must have felt.

This is a terrific book for any parent, especially mothers. It really touched home
Susan Salluce
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
As a therapist and author of my own psychological fiction book, Out of Breath, available on Amazon e-books, I found this novel to not only be a page turner, but an accurate description of what can happen when our youth are pushed too hard, parents stop communicating, and the family system breaks down. All too often, we are rushing from one appointment, practice, and activity to the next. Where is the time to share? Decompress? Laugh? I feel as though this book has the potential to wake up famili ...more
X. Williamson
Jun 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Wow, this book is certainly special! It made me sad but I liked it.
It took me some time to finish it, not because I didn't like it, but because it is so intense. It is beautifully written and manages to express every feeling in a very strong manner. You get to love and hate the characters because of their flaws and mistakes. None of them are right yet you understand each and every motivation for their actions.
It is a really good book yet be advised, it is heartbreaking.
If you like dramas, you s
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book sucks you in at page 1. The characters - some lovable, others detestable as intended - inspire such an emotional reaction, it is impossible not to become attached. As the story unravels and Leah falls deeper into her self-destruction, you get so caught up in the life of the Tyler family you are likely to forget that they and their stories are works of fiction. This exciting page-turner is a must read for anyone who has ever had, known or been a teenager!
Holly Robinson
May 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartfelt, fast-paced domestic drama about a family that falls apart -- and then comes together again beautifully. The narrative is told in lyrical prose that reads like music, surrounding you in emotions that you almost can't bear, because the feelings are so powerful. I couldn't put it down.In Leah's Wake ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it
more like 3.5- I thought the book was well written but the topic wasn't fun. It's about a teenager who was the "perfect" child and then she goes in a totally different direction and how it affects the whole family. It is one of many parent's fears about the teenage years. This was our next bookclub book and it should be an interesting group dicussion. I prefer to live with my rose colored glasses on and hope this will never happen to my family...fingers crossed :) ...more
Bri Clark
May 30, 2011 rated it really liked it

In Leah's Wake is contemporary fiction at it's best. The menage of characters and their strengths and flaws pulled together creating a tapestry to be viewed again and again. As an author myself I appreciate the ability to use multiple points of view in a novel. Mrs. Long did an amazing job utilizing this obvious talent. A book to
Rachel Giesel
Mar 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written. Told from an interesting point of view. Relatable in some situations. Easy to connect, sympathize, and understand all the characters. A more thorough review of this book can be found here: ...more
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