Review: Left by Tamar Ossowski

Title: Left

Author: Tamar Ossowski

Published: Skyhorse Publishing October 2013

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from November 24 to 25, 2013 — I own a copy {Courtesy the author}

My Thoughts:

Unfolding primarily through the perspectives of twelve year old Matilda and nine year old Franny, Left is an emotional novel about mothers and daughters, of family secrets, betrayal and forgiveness.

One morning, Therese bundles Matilda and Franny into the family car, their belongings crammed into garbage bags, and refusing to answer any questions, drives to the home of an old friend, Leah. Matilda and Franny are bewildered by Therese’s behaviour, even more so when, the next morning, Therese abandons Franny to Leah’s care without a word of explanation, taking only Matilda with her to start over in another town.

The perspectives of Matilda and Franny are beautifully written. Matilda’s confusion and resentment at her mother and the situation is clearly communicated. Her bond with Franny is sweet and her promise to return to her sister is heartfelt and touching.
Franny is an unusual child who recites letters in her head. Though it is never explicitly stated, Franny is autistic, as is the author’s son, and her perspective is unique. She tries desperately to make sense of her mother’s desertion and aches for her sister, but also quickly becomes attached to Leah.

Manipulative and selfish, Therese is not a likeable character. She is running to protect herself, refusing to acknowledge her poor decisions and denying responsibility for her actions, both past and present, viewing herself as a victim.
I wasn’t a fan of Leah either, I had a lot of trouble understanding her decision which was perhaps wise in the short term, but unacceptable in the long term. There also seems to be some issues regarding her mental stability which makes me wonder if she is the best person to raise Franny.

A character driven story with a measured pace, Left is an engaging, poignant novel, and confident debut from Tamar Osowski.

Available to Purchase From

Skyhorse Publishing I Amazon I B&N


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. laurelrainsnow
    Dec 03, 2013 @ 02:50:28

    This does sound like a read I could engage with….not enjoyable, but memorable. Thanks for sharing.



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