Lauren Ashburn left a promising job to help her family in Vermont take care of her dying father. Now that he’s gone, Lauren has every intention of returning to her old life—the vibrant, successful one her father had always expected her to have. But Lauren discovers that she feels adrift without his strict guidance.
Georgia Solomon designs homes for others. But as a bisexual autistic woman, she rarely feels at home herself. When her best friend dies suddenly, leaving her alone with their young daughter, her little slice of happiness vanishes. Now Georgia finds herself struggling to navigate a world that doesn’t understand her at all.
Lauren and Georgia clash at a disastrous work meeting, but Georgia’s daughter Hannah pulls them together despite themselves. As they discover new possibilities and priorities for the future, can they make room for love? Or will they have to leave each other behind—in order for them both to move forward?
FROM THE AUTHOR
"The title Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go is also the name of a song from a musical called Big River. I was an extra in a community theater production of the show many years ago. I was not a good actor, but I loved participating, and I loved that song in particular. When I used the song title for the short story this novel spawned from, I thought, “This is good enough for now.” Then it was the working title for the book, and as I neared completion of the first draft, I assured myself I’d come up with something else. I never did. During the editing process, I asked everyone I worked with for advice on the title, and the advice I got was, “Keep it.” I never meant to call my book by this name, but it’s the only name this book has ever had."
Kaye C. - The perspectives of the main characters in this romance is very interesting. Georgia Solomon designs homes. She is also bisexual and high functioning on the autistic spectrum. She is raising her daughter Hannah on her own after the death of her co-parent. Hannah is seven and also autistic. Georgia clashes with Lauren Ashburn, a computer programmer, when the new designing software for her company fails to work. Lauren is one of the programmers trying to fix the issues. They meet later at a bereavement therapy group. Lauren is trying to get over the death of her father who always pushed her to be more and was never satisfied with her results.
Hannah's response to a kindness from Lauren starts the women on a path to friendship and a relationship. Georgia is trying her best to raise and protect her daughter but it is hard when not everyone understands that they can't pick up on social cues, tolerate change or enjoy certain foods like everyone else. Lauren has a hard time with people herself. Together they support each other with issues including families and work.
The author does a very good job at realistically portraying autism. Lauren and Georgia are great at trying to listen to and read each other. Many things need to be explicitly stated because miscommunication can easily happen. Hannah and the supporting characters add to the story but also some conflicts. The book also has one of the funniest lines about bisexuals and hiking I've ever read. I will look forward to more books from the author.
Bonnie K. - I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was well-researched and written. The main characters Lauren and Georgia first met in a professional manner, which didn't go smoothly. However, they later meet at a group recovery meeting. Both characters has suffered a loss. Lauren's dad passed. Georgia's best friend, work partner and father to her seven-year-old autistic daughter Hannah recently passed. Now she has to raise her daughter herself. Did I forget to mention she's also autistic. Through Hannah both MC form a friendship. This is not your typical romance.
This book can also serve as an eye-opener for dealing with someone who's autistic. It was very realistic. Well done. I recommend this book. 4.5 stars.
Bonnie S. - This is one of the most compelling stories I’ve read when it comes to characters dealing with autism. Wonderful story.
Ameliah R. - So Sweet! This is a wonderful book filled with all sorts of emotions. I adored Hannah, Georgia’s daughter. She is adorable and lovable. Watching Georgia and Lauren’s growing attraction is a joy and delight. I liked watching them overcome their struggles and work together to make their dreams and hopes come true. This really well written story kept my attention throughout and left me feeling happy and contented at the end. I highly recommend this delightful story!
Megan C. - This was a very pleasant surprise. Ms Acker's novel is an impressive debut. Well written, engaging characters that feel real as well as a well paced build up of the romance.
From a romance perspective, this is a slow burn and the time Ms Acker takes building the friendship helps build the reader's engagement with the characters so that when the relationship turns to more than friends, it's a natural and believable progression and just feels right.
This is a refreshing romance that hits all the right buttons with engaging characters who are original and well developed and a nice build up of the romance. Recommended.
Jasmine G. - This book was very sweet and I really enjoyed this debut. The romance was sweet and the family moments were very heartwarming. I also think that the author did a fantastic job at showing the reality of family drama and the way those relationships evolved throughout the book. I also loved Lauren and Hannah's relationship. Acker is an excellent writer, the dialogue and the setting and the flow of the novel was really excellent. I look forward to future books from this author and can't wait to see where they go!