Leave the World Behind

Let it be said that this book is excellent but it is not a beach read. That being said, it is a rare book: a literary thriller. It was a National Book Award finalist, a Read With Jenna book, and it’s going to be a film (starring Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke!) My love of thrillers is no secret, but this one felt special as the writing is really really good. It’s a slow burn. It builds and builds and builds. It’s also interesting that it was written in 2020, but before the pandemic. Amanda and Clay flee Brooklyn for a long weekend to get away, renting a beautiful house in the Hamptons. Just as they are relaxing with their two children, getting settled, enjoying the house and its beautiful pool… an older Black couple (Ruth and G.H.) shows up, telling them that its their house. A blackout has taken over New York and they have nowhere to go. Clay and Amanda agree to Ruth and G.H.’s plea offer to discount the rent. The couples struggle to understand if they can trust each other. But soon things devolve into something darker (and more mysterious) than either couple could imagine. I loved this book. I read it on vacation though and would just say, it’s not a vacation book. Save it for a cozy night, tucked in at home… somewhere you feel cozy and safe. That is all I will say!

Author: Rumaan Alam