Will’s father’s death helps him realize that everyone needs positive acknowledgement. He also realizes that sometimes it’s the little things that can make a difference. He gives small gifts and kind words to those around him ( his lonely boss, his friend Playa, a neglected little boy, an abused neighborhood dog).
OMG……This book is powerful, and wonderful, and heart wrenching ! ‘What I Leave Behind’, is a prime example of, “less is more.” There are so many books out there that are just way too long for what they are trying to say (read ‘The Goldfinch’). McGhee delivers a strong and pointed message with just one hundred chapters with one hundred words each. With this she demonstrates that you don’t need a mega size book to deliver a powerful punch.
I really loved that symbolism played such an important part in the novel. From the way that butterflies that ‘little dude’ watches everyday to Will’s quest to recreate his dad’s cornbread recipe. Small things give clues to the interworking of the character’s mindset.
Will’s compassion and kindness ripped my heart out. In ‘What I Leave Behind, ‘Will really is aware of the pain of those around him and attempts to right it anyway he can. In today’s world of cyber bullying and senseless violence, a kind word and a positive attitude can go along way. The title, ‘What I Leave Behind’, really summarizes that what you want to leave the world when you are gone should shape the way you lead your life today.
‘What I Leave Behind’, is a super quick read with just 1000 words (just about 3x the length of this review). Read it now. You won’t regret it.