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Reviewed by Jessyca Garcia for Readers' Favorite
It is hard to remember that Leaving Montana by Thomas Whaley is a work of fiction. The family problems and secrets that Whaley writes about are very common, but very rarely are they spoken about. Whaley writes about Benjamin Sean Quinn’s life and how he grew up in a household filled with drama and secrets. Leaving Montana is a book that captures the reader’s interest right away just because Whaley’s main character, Benjamin Sean Quinn, is so lovable from the start. Benjamin is a 40-year-old gay male who has two adopted children with his partner. Benjamin travels to Billings, Montana, to face secrets from the past. During his journey he reflects on his parents' marriage and how everything came to be.
My favorite thing about this book was the way Whaley explained how Benjamin’s parents, Carmella and Sean, came to be. He gave each character in his book a different personality. I honestly was not sure how to feel about Carmella and Sean. I went from rooting for each of them to hating them, then back to rooting for them. Towards the end of the book, I was sure of only one thing, and that was that I wanted to give Benjamin a huge hug and adopt him. The issues that occurred in Benjamin’s family are common, but they are not often written about or explained through each character’s own perspective. Whaley writing the story this way makes the reader understand the situations more. You may not agree with the situation that is occurring in the book, but you understand why it happened.
I was able to figure out the secrets before the book ended, but I really enjoyed this book and hope to read more of Whaley’s work. I recommend this book to anyone who does not have enough drama in their own family.