Books, Music & Movies · What I Leave Behind

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What I Leave Behind

Alison McGhee

In McGhee’s emotionally raw novella, the deeply thoughtful 16-year-old narrator Will spends most of his days the same way: working at the Dollar Only store, trying unsuccessfully to recreate his father’s cornbread recipe and walking the streets of L.A. It’s been three years since his father committed suicide and walking helps Will work through his grief. During his nighttime wanderings, he secretly leaves small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on his way home. It’s through his acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and begin to live his life again. Maybe he’ll even get lucky and discover the secret to his father’s cornbread recipe.