Start Without Me by Joshua Max Feldman
Book Review: 4 out of 5 star review
What would holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas be without family drama? This book covers one Thanksgiving Day in the lives of Adam and Melissa, two strangers who meet on this more-than-stressful-for-them day.
Adam is working in a bank and trying to live a sober life. He had been quite a successful musician but the life on the road and a broken love has led him to alcohol abuse. He hasn’t spent a Thanksgiving with his family in years and although this is the year he really wants to try, he’s not sure he’s strong enough to get through the day without messing things up again.
Melissa is a flight attendant who has married into a rich family that she’s never felt a part of. She and her husband have had some recent difficulties and she knows a holiday with his family will be a stressful one. Plus the secret she’s carrying is a difficult one to deal with.
I had my reservations about this book at first. I didn’t immediately connect with the characters and thought it was just going to be a road-trip book with two unlikeable characters trying to sort out their family issues. And actually that’s what it is. But it’s the mark of a talented author who can take that type of premise and turn it into such an emotional journey for the reader. The author writes with a realism that is completely believable and human. I realized that I didn’t have to like these characters or understand their decisions in life to connect with them. Their humanity touched me. This author knows how to twist his characters around his readers’ hearts.
This book was given to me by the publisher in return for an honest review.