Thursday, October 26, 2017

Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman

It's Thursday, y'all!

Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Joshua Max Feldman's Start Without Me.

Adam is pretty fresh out of rehab and visiting home for the first time in quite a while. In truth, it's the first time he's even been invited home in a year. It's Thanksgiving and, as it turns out, the pressure of the holiday is almost too much for him to handle. Which is why he bails. 

Marissa has just arrived on a flight from Seattle. A flight attendant whose job is a bitter point of contention between herself and her husband, she's supposed to pick up and drive to her in-laws' for the holiday. But she's less than enthused. More so when she discovers she's pregnant - and the baby isn't her husband's. 

Adam and Marissa cross paths at an airport restaurant - Adam determined to return to San Francisco and put the barely missed disastrous holiday behind him and Marissa stalling as long as she can before driving to Vermont. Their fateful meeting brings them together as they both struggle with expectations and suspected disappointments they both feel are inevitable.

Thanksgiving is such a strange holiday. Like Christmas, it's a holiday that comes with a lot of built up pressure and potential anxiety. Depending on your situation, like our characters, you may have waited all year to reconnect with extended family over turkey and fixings. But it's like the ice breaker considering Christmas falls just one month later.

For Adam, as mentioned, it's his first time home for some time. He's sober and has given up his career as a musician in exchange for a safer, more controllable job at a bank. It's a life of order and routine, which is what he needs to keep from falling back into drinking.

Marissa doesn't have much of a relationship with her own mother, something we learn more about as the story progresses. And her relationship with her husband and her in-laws is tense. In fact, as we meet her she's receiving an apology text from her husband regarding an argument they'd been having when she left for her last flight. An argument it turns out her husband has gone over with his own mother, who just happens to be a divorce attorney. Try unpacking all that baggage!

At the outset, it seems almost strange that Adam and Marissa would connect, and yet it doesn't. Neither wants to be alone with their problems, even if they wouldn't admit it to themselves. And both of them need a shoulder to cry on, or just another set of ears to hear them out.

Start Without Me takes place over the course of just one day, making the read both quick and propulsive. And in spite of what my synopsis might lead you to believe, it's not a particularly heavy book. Instead, it's a book that's easy to sink into and incredibly easy to relate to. No, I've not been where either Adam or Marissa are, but in each of them Feldman has created a character that feels intensely real, making it easy to sympathize with them and want to see their story through.

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Joshua Max Feldman and his work you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!