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Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley
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Leaving Montana

by Thomas Whaley

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Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley is a highly recommended novel about an adult child who survived a highly dysfunctional childhood.

Benjamin Sean Quinn is a forty year old man who, from all outward appearances, has a perfect life. He and his partner of 14 years have 2 daughters. They live in a well-appointed home in a prestigious neighborhood. But Ben is "as angry as hell. Angry to the core." In Leaving Montana he has chosen to confront once and for all the messiness that was his childhood and the hidden secrets it holds in an attempt to rid his life of the anger.

Ben tells the story of his childhood with battling parents Carmella and Sean while going on his current day trip to Montana. His parents are always referred to by their surnames, never an affectionate mom and dad. Most certainly we know that his childhood is the root of his anger, but there are more secrets to be uncovered. The story of his parents' marriage is heart breaking, but so is the anger that Ben has held on to for far too long. Ben is an arrogant man, but freely admits his flaws and is able to laugh at them.

This is a well written novel written in first person about dysfunctional, embattled families and secrets. The big secret here was one I suspected almost immediately, but the enjoyment was in the journey.

Disclosure: My Kindle edition was courtesy of Sakura Publishing for review purposes. ( )
  SheTreadsSoftly | Mar 21, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I received this book through a librarything.com giveaway.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I felt that the story focused on the parents and then filtered out from there on how their storyline affected all parts of their family. By doing that, it added so much more to the whole book.

A lot of books have stories that never reveal how someone became who they are today. This story truly needed Carm and Sean's stories for you to figure out why Ben turned out they way he is.

The one part that threw me for a loop was when it was revealed who Ben was visiting in Montana. At first I didn't understand why he would be visiting that person, but then ALL was revealed. It was great!

The book flowed well and was a very quick read for me.

I would definitely read any future books by Thomas Whaley. ( )
  Sara2012 | Jan 8, 2016 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Sean and Carmella have a volatile marriage. After violent arguments and fights, they break up and get back together more than once. The book is told through the voice of their son Ben, who is torn dealing with his parents and their toxic relationship. When a family secret is revealed, he travels to Montana to try and make more sense of it all. Not the easiest read. ( )
  ennie | Nov 8, 2015 |
I received a signed copy of Leaving Montana in connection with an internet giveaway, and the following is my honest opinion for this book.

As I began to read this book I became enthralled by Mr. Whaley writing which had pulled me in effortlessly to the literary fiction which the author states on GoodReads.com for the book’s description is based on a true family saga.

The author’s use of the first person throughout the book adds to all the emotions one feels Benjamin Sean Quinn is experiencing as he finds out the truth about the 40-year old secret his father had recently mention when he and Ben’s mother had been stationed in Billings, Montana. The secret had caused his parent’s to have a tumultuous marriage which lead Ben to accumulate the anger he had towards them, and to successfully suppress and conquer the demons he had been experiencing throughout his life.

And once Ben discovers everything he needed to unravel the facts behind the secret he came to solve he leaves Montana for the first and last time, leaving everything he’d found there unscathed.

Given the way the author has described everything, especially with the fervor he has, my intuition is telling me there’s much more going on than one reads. My intuition is telling me this book might actually be a literary work of fiction disguising the personal memoir the book might actually be.

Given the expanse of the emotional values this book delivers, I’m giving it 5 STARS. ( )
  MyPenNameOnly | Mar 30, 2015 |
Leaving Montana is an exceptional read. Do not hesitate to purchase this book. This is the kind of book that draws you in and keeps you up late for "just one more chapter"...then another, etc. The storyline is very tight making it engaging from the beginning to the end. The structure of the book is great, moving back and forth from a present day narration to the history behind the main character Benjamin. The reader experiences both a 40 year history and a four day trip simultaneously, and then they come together at the end beautifully. The characterization is exceptional. As Benjamin grows and evolves, I couldn't help but feel as if I was growing right along with him. This is a story of one man's quest to greater understand not only himself, but also those around him. This is the element we all can relate to, and though your circumstances may be different than Benjamin's this book will make you think about your own experiences and probably give you greater insight to yourself. One chapter will leave you with that emotional "lump in your throat" while the next will leave you chuckling to yourself. There is plenty of humorous levity throughout. I strongly recommend Leaving Montana. ( )
  ThomasWhaley | Mar 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0991180771, Paperback)

From the Official Website... "Saying that Benjamin Sean Quinn had “anger issues” was an understatement. For those who knew him for the shortest amount of time, his life was in order: He was physically fit, had a great job which provided him a house in the suburbs and the material things he desired, a loving, monogamous relationship, two happy, healthy daughters and an established circle of friends. In all accounts, his life seemed perfect. But to those who knew him the longest, they knew he was an idle grenade, waiting for someone to pull the pin. For decades, Ben did his best to conquer his demons; to suppress the anger he accumulated towards his parents, Carmella and Sean, throughout their tumultuous marriage. Ben was their only child; forced to witness and experience things that most adults couldn’t even try to handle. He could not escape them or the anger, and no matter how hard he tried, as he matured, it became a part of him. Ben strived to end the toxic cycle and avoid adopting their pattern as part of his own life. By the time he reached his early thirties, he finally seemed to have it all under control. Then Ben’s father told him a “secret”. One left in Montana when he and Carmella were stationed there forty years earlier. It would exhume the painful memories and suppressed anger that Ben had been avoiding for years and force him to relive his past in order to face his future. Today Benjamin Sean Quinn boards a plane to Billings, Montana. It was time to face the secret head on and let go of the anger that silently ruled his life. It would be the boldest move he ever made, ultimately changing his life and the lives of those around him."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:35 -0400)

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