Title: What I Leave Behind
Author: Allison McGhee
Pages: 208 pages; 10,000 words
Publisher: Athenium/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Release Date: May 15, 2018
What I Leave Behind is a sweet, heart-wrenching book about a young man named Will who has lost his father to suicide. Going through daily life working at the Dollar Only store, he copes with his pain by being compassionate to those around him, including his kooky boss Major Tom, Superman (the homeless man on the street corner who eats Will’s failed attempts at home made corn bread), Playa (Will’s best friend who is sexually assaulted), and the little boy down the street who loves butterflies. The book is basically a repeating cycle of Will walking, walking, walking (he only walks–no cars, bikes, etc. since his father’s passing) past the Blessings Store, over the Fourth Street Bridge, through his friends’ neighborhoods, to work at the Dollar Only Store, and back home again. The end.
The book is formatted uniquely in that there are 100 chapters, each with 100 words. As a result, I found it to be an extremely quick and simple read….almost too much so. The book felt a bit choppy to me because it was constricted to the 100 word limits. But still, Will is one of the greatest guys on the planet. If everyone treated the people around them with this much thought and care, the world would be a better place. Honestly however, the book was repetitious and, as I said, choppy, but the overall concept was worthwhile.
Book Soundtrack: Appletree by Erykah Badu