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Leaving Bets On...

About the Author

About the Book


March 2024

The word “leaving” takes on so many different meanings in Roxana Robinson’s latest novel, LEAVING.

When in college Warren asked Sarah to travel through Europe with him, she contemplated it for a short time and then realized that she did not feel he would protect her or care for her as she needed. So she declined, leaving him for the first time. A few decades pass, and they run into each other at the opera, picking up their conversation. Sarah has divorced her husband (another leaving), and her children are grown. Warren still is married, but he and his wife are living in different orbits. At times they come together, but for the most part, the love between them is a lot paler than it once was. Let’s just say that love has left, and instead routine and obligation has settled in.

The inevitable happens when Sarah and Warren’s lives tumble back together. They feel invigorated by their time with each other, which spurs a lot of “what ifs” about the past and the present, as well as the future. But alas, Warren still has ties to his family, and they are a lot tighter than he first perceived them to be. What’s interesting is seeing who does the foot stomping about his need to give up Sarah and just come home, and how power is wielded there.

There is nothing tawdry about this book, as often happens when one speaks of an extramarital affair and its effects on a family. Instead, it’s a look at what might have been once and how it might work again. Sarah, who has been living alone for a long time, contemplates what it would be like to be coupled again. Warren thinks of a life filled with love. But for this to happen, he has to leave his family, and she needs to cede the pleasantness of her solitary life.

I started to suspect the ending, but that did not make it any less sad or downright devastating. It’s a slim novel with beautiful writing and so much packed inside. The pacing is pitch perfect. In the right hands with the right talent, it would make for a great film or television adaptation.

by Roxana Robinson

  • Publication Date: February 13, 2024
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN-10: 1324065389
  • ISBN-13: 9781324065388