In Leah’s Wake
By Terri Giuliano Long
ISBN/SKU: 0615608329 ISBN Complete: 978-0-615-60832-7 Paperback $15.95 eBook $2.99
In Leah’s Wake is an astounding story of a family in transition due to the troubling changes in their daughter Leah. Leah, once captain of the soccer team and an A student has begun a slow downward slide into the dark world of drugs. She has a boyfriend, Todd, who was busted for drugs in the past and who her parents have warned her about, demanding she stay away from him, but their demands, actions and accusations just push her closer and closer to Todd, and deepen her commitment to this troubled man a few years older than she is.
It’s not just Leah’s story, it’s the entire family’s story, showing what Leah’s parents and sister are going through the entire time all of this is going on. There are touching scenes and there are scenes so that leave you aching for the people in them. Leah’s descent into drug abuse, her problems at school and her deteriorating relationship with her family are all told realistically. You don’t have to work hard to enter Will, Zoe, Justine and Leah’s world because of this. You just turn the pages and you’re there with them as they all go through this.
I stayed up till 3 a.m. the night I finished this book because I had to know what was going to happen. I literally could not have slept without knowing how the story was going to end and what was going to happen to all of them. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the book where everyone still believes things will turn around and Leah will return to being the child they all know and love:
Leah was proud of her mom. She looked so professional, standing by the podium with her flip chart. As Zoe talked, she jotted down bullets, her audience scribbling furiously on their notepads.
Weeds in every garden? The advice was cheesy, unoriginal, and yet, maybe because her mother put so much of herself in her words, she sounded totally convincing.
As the afternoon wore on, people opened up. They talked about their lives, their long-term goals, the changes they intended to make after the workshop. . .
The woman beside Leah leapt out of her seat. “I’m cleaning out the refrigerator,” she announced. “The instant I get home.” The woman pumped her fist and everyone cheered. “I’m ordering flyers for my business,” shouted somebody else. Finishing my degree. Traveling to Italy. Getting my realtor’s license.
Quit biting my nails, Leah vowed silently. Be my own person.
On the way home, Zoe’s daughter said, “I’m impressed, Ma.”
They were stopped at an intersection, waiting for the light to change. Zoe looked at her daughter and smiled. “Thank you, honey. That’s sweet.” This is my real daughter, she thought. This is my Leah.
“I mean it.” Leah turned the radio up. “You’re great with them.”
Why on Earth were she and Leah always fighting? It was absurd. Look at them now. It was easy to get along. It’s all about listening, Zoe thought, congratulating herself on her insight. And mutual respect.
I highly recommend In Leah’s Wake. I know it is a book I will revisit time and time again.