“Leave The World Behind”

“Leave The World Behind” is a book that hauntingly parallels our time. The story of a white family of four (Archie, Rose, and their parents Amanda and Clay) on vacation in an AirBnB where there is limited (if any) cell reception only to be suddenly disrupted by an elderly black couple (G.W. and Ruth) who claim to be the owners of the house and that a massive power outage had occurred across the entire east coast.

The two families are soon awkwardly forced to share the space while trying to determine the cause and scope of the power outage. On top of the general awkwardness between the characters, there are inexplicable occurrences that are noticed throughout the house and the yard only to exacerbate the mystery behind their predicament.

The story masterfully explores the human condition in what is believed to be life or death situations to battle situations like starvation, infection, and isolation. The author (Rumaan Alam) narrates the story almost like a work of epic poetry; abundant in description and emotion but with very little dialogue between the characters.

I had never heard of this book or author before a few weeks ago. I found the book accidentally in the Charlotte airport, but this New York Time Bestseller and National Book Award finalist has quickly become one of my favorite books of all time. An absolute must-read!

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