Early Leaving: A Novel

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Sep 21, 2004 - Fiction - 293 pages
1 Review

Is it possible for a mother to love her child too much?This is the question that haunts Kathryne Smallwood the night before her son, Early, faces sentencing for killing another teenager.

Kathryne has devoted her life to her only child. She has made herself present in his every activity, every decision, every move, in hopes of protecting him. But it may just be this powerful force that sends her son spiraling in the opposite direction.

Critically acclaimed author Judy Goldman tells a riveting, deeply moving story of a well-to-do southern family whose smooth, easy lives are suddenly disrupted irreversibly. As Kathryne Smallwood waits for morning and her son's fate, she searches her memory for details of his life and her own to discover where she went wrong, how she could have stopped the unspeakable act her eighteen-year-old son has committed. All she ever wanted was to keep him safe and happy. Isn't that what every mother wants? Kathryne realizes, too late, that the hardest part of parenting might be knowing when to hold back. Now she must come to terms with Early's leaving and what to do when her one reason for living is gone.

Goldman presents a wise, sharp-eyed invitation to explore the nature of family and, in particular, the nature of marriage and parenting -- how we think we're doing the right thing when what we're really doing is following our own hungers.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pdebolt - LibraryThing

I thought, given the premise of this book, that it would reveal more about the character of Early. The reader knows all there is to know about his mother, her background, her marriage and parenting ... Read full review

Early leaving

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Second-wave feminism seems to have bypassed Kathryne Smallwood. Despite working as a film critic, her life revolves around her son, Early, and her husband, Peter. To outsiders looking in, the ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2004)

Judy Goldman's first novel, The Slow Way Back, won the Sir Walter Raleigh Fiction Award and the Mary Ruffin Poole First Work of Fiction Award, and was a finalist for the Southeast Booksellers Association's Best Novel of the Year. She is also the author of two books of poetry. Her work has been published widely in literary journals, and her commentaries have aired on public radio. She and her husband live in Charlotte, North Carolina. They have two married children and twin granddaughters.

Bibliographic information