Amanda and Clay head to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a holiday: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they’ve rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple – it’s their house, and they’ve arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area – with the TV and internet now down, and no phone service – it’s hard to know what to believe.
Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple – and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the holiday home, isolated from civilisation, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one another?
Leave the world behind is a beautifully crafted character drama, an intense and highly addictive story of two families thrown together in unpredictable circumstances and how this informs their reactions and decisions.
The Clay family are on holiday in a remote location, they have indeed left the world behind for a short time. When news of a blackout in the city pops up then disappears, a strange couple turn up on the doorstep and contact is lost beyond the immediate, things take a dark turn.
This is a bit of genius plotting – the author on occasion offering the reader more information than the protagonists have – so each thing that is happening on the page holds deeper resonance. At the same time it is a compelling look at how we form bonds under pressure and also has the sense and atmosphere of any edgy thriller and intriguing mystery.
I won’t give anything more away but Leave The World Behind is a literary page turner, with fully formed, layered characters that engage and an underlying sense of unease that stays with you long after you’ve reached the intelligent, pitch perfect finale.