An Interesting and Cute Story

4 out of 5 stars

Leaving’s Not The Only Way To Go features two strong women and an incredibly strong child dealing with lots of big things going on in their lives. Acker was able to walk that tightrope that is “too deep, too dark, or too personal” with the cute parts of this story.

It’s definitely a slow burn and one of those stories that touch on lots of neurodivergent topics, including dealing with family, lovers, and friends about the way that certain things must be done. There was lots of focus on schedules and not changing things. I can tell that Acker wanted to do this right for anyone reading that isn’t neurodivergent. Everything was explained, and there were a few times they weren’t, and it was just due to being a major plot point (and would then be explained later).

The story itself was cute. I couldn’t help but root for these women to finally get together. They seemed to calm each other worlds and make living life better. So I couldn’t help but continue to hope for the best for both of them.

I do have to comment on the ending. First off, I get it; it’s a reasonable choice/ending. It doesn’t “bother” me per se, but I was a little surprised at the abruptness of it. It was like, “yup, this is happening,” followed quickly by, “no, never mind, I’m going to put my entire life/career/etc. on hold for you.” I know that happens, and I know that it probably is the right move for the characters. It just surprised me, and I had to mention it.

Overall, I enjoyed the heck out of this. As I mentioned above, Acker does a wonderful job making this approachable from either side. The romance and the “will they” of the slow burn makes this one fly by. And the drama is seemingly all related to internal conflicts more than actual differences between the characters. The narration by Ellie Gossage was great – she knocked the characters out of the park, and I really enjoyed her performance.

Book Description:

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?

Leaving’s Not the Only Way to Go by Kay Acker
Narrator: Ellie Gossage
Length: 7 hrs and 39 mins
Published by Tantor Audio Genres: LesFic/Sapphic Fiction
Format: Audiobook
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