download (1)Reviewed by Melanie Kline

Chase’s life is falling apart. He just lost his job as a journalist, his wife has left him and his father has died, so Chase must travel to the Poconos for the funeral. Even worse, he doesn’t get along with his brother who lived with and took care of their father.

Ways of Leaving was a mixture of getting my hopes up that something good was really about to happen and scratching my head wondering what the heck was I reading. I was sorely disappointed in the entire story.

Basically, in my opinion, Chase is a bi-polar jerk. He is rude, quick to anger, blames his life on other people and hides it behind getting drunk and having sex. He doesn’t even care who he is having sex with as long as he is doing it. Chase shirks responsibilities, has no consideration for anyone except himself and is sarcastic about everything.

While he doesn’t get along with his brother,- also a self centered jerk – Chase comes to realize that he should have put the past behind him and been there to help out when his father was ill. He also harbors extreme guilt for not being there for his sister, who was his best friend growing up, as she is now in a mental institution and virtually incoherent although you never find out why.

Ways of Leaving is a “coming of age” story for Chase. He seems to begin to realize that his way of thinking and doing things is not the adult way of handling situations, but I didn’t feel that he was really going to change. Chase did acknowledge that sleeping with a married woman was wrong and that he needed to change the situation, but he had to gett shot before that realization dawned on him.

Ways of Leaving was not my favorite book or even close to a favorite. Chase was constantly all over the place and to simply say that he was bi-polar is a huge understatement. I would recommend this book only to those who like to analyze people and situations as it is confusing and extremely dull. A climax builds and you want to believe that the book is going to get better only to become utterly frustrated at its lack of vitality.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by SparkPress. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.