Praise for The Leaving

My novel The Leaving was published as an ebook on Smashwords and Kindle in June and July of last year.

It has been getting some interesting reviews!

Kate Genet reviewed The Leaving on the Kindle page here, calling it “A brilliant and beautiful book.”


Absorbing is the word that comes to mind to sum up this novel. It is written in first person and has a distinct narrative voice. It is not light fare – it is a deep and insightful look at the character’s coming of age, coming to terms, and coming to acceptance. It never wavers in its focus and tells a story of confusion, obsession, need and the complete inability of the main character to compromise herself – she will not be other than she is, and in this there is a lesson for all of us, something to think about and admire. 

Sometimes books speak to us with a familiarity that echoes our own experience, and we are lucky when this happens, but even if this is not the case, there are some books with aspects that touch on the universal, here the oft-painful voyage of discovery we all go through as we learn who and what we are; especially for those of us whose expressions of sexuality are not mainstream. This is quite an extraordinary book and Ms. West has gained in me a reader for life. 

Salem West reviewed it for her blog The Rainbow Reader.


When I first read the synopsis of The Leaving, I thought I’d be reading a YA novel.  And, while some young adults might pick it up and learn a thing or two, the book transcends the boundaries of that genre.  Yes, it’s about a teenager dealing with school, friends, family, sexuality, and first love; but it also explores complex themes like sibling rivalry, gender bias, social bullying, and raw emotional default.
If you’re looking for something with a little bite, something that will challenge you, something that will take you back to those not-always-so-halcyon days of your teens, then The Leaving is the perfect catalyst. 

A reader called Mirrani reviewed it on LibraryThing and then posted her review to the book’s Smashwords page here.


The Leaving was described as “a realistic look at adolescence and first love” and it cannot be denied that this well describes the book for prospective readers. The story is very realistic, with realistic relationships and feelings, including much confusion regarding relationships between both friends and lovers. No sweetener is added to the emotion or background of the characters, they are purely themselves, showing us life through their eyes. 

Surprisingly, even after reading through all of Cathy’s focus on the despair of her situation in her family, friends and in place in her own country, I found myself wanting to know more about her, wanting to know if she would find a way to change even one little thing to make a difference in it all. …. The story’s rotation through leaving school, friends, family, country and an old life was somehow addictive, leaving me feeling as if I had just been introduced to someone new at a bar and we sitting down to learn about each other. 

And finally, Southern writer Alle Wells, author of Railroad Man, glowingly reviewed The Leaving on her 5 Star Blog here!

2 Responses to Reviews

  1. Pingback: ‘Undecided’ review | Gabriella West

  2. bvrlypauge says:

    Hey Gabriella, The Leaving sounds great, can’t wait to read it!
    I’m really sorry to bother you, and also for troubling you here, but I didn’t know how else to reach you. I have a coupon from the latest, (Sept.- Oct. ’11) LC that I’d like to use, but it said the code was “either outdated or invalid”. Is there something else I need to do? If you have the time, could you email me the correct code? Thank you so very much for your time!


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