Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Leaving unknown
Leaving unknown
1st Avon pbk. ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Avon, 2010.
Physical Description:
viii, 356 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Maeve Connelly, along with Oliver her foulmouthed cockatiel, undertakes an epic road trip to Los Angeles. But when her car breaks down outside of Unknown, Arizona, she is in for a much longer rest stop than she expected.
Geographic Term:



Call Number

On Order



"Mixing humor with tender moments, Reichs creates an enjoyable journey with wonderful writing and likable characters."
--Library Journal

From the author of The Best Day of Someone Else's Life comes Leaving Unknown--a funny and touching story of a young woman who, while traveling across country, finds herself stuck in the true middle of nowhere, a.k.a. Unknown, Arizona. Great writing comes naturally to Kerry Reichs (she's the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs, whose Temperance Brennan forensic mysteries inspired the TV series Bones). With Leaving Unknown, Kerry has penned a bittersweet modern-day Odyssey that readers of Kristin Gore, Jennifer Crusie, Meg Cabot, and Jennifer Weiner will absolutely adore.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this easy but uneven read, Reichs (The Best Day of Someone Else's Life) spends 150 pages spinning her wheels with quirky, appealing characters before revealing a plot-enriching secret about protagonist Maeve Connelly. Maeve's story begins when she loses her job and vows to stop being flighty and irresponsible ("flitterdegibbety"). With her talking cockatiel in tow, Maeve heads west from the Carolinas, planning to reconnect with a friend who's found success in Hollywood. Her plan is predictably derailed when her car breaks down outside the town of Unknown, Ariz., where she's embraced by the locals and takes on a series of jobs-in a funky boarding house, at a bookstore owned by a handsome children's book author, at the local photo shop-while waiting on auto repairs. Chronic hypochondria leads her to seek out the town's doctor, and before long they begin a comfortable romance. Gentle humor and insight drive the sleepy story until a jarring but momentum-building conflict turns up, pushing the story toward a satisfying conclusion. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Reichs' newest novel follows 26-year-old Maeve Connelly as she journeys across America in a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner in an attempt to put her life back together. Accompanied by her bird, Oliver, Maeve works odd jobs in small towns ranging from Okay, Oklahoma, to Toad Suck, Arkansas, in order to keep her car in working condition. Misfortune strikes, however, when her car breaks down near Unknown, Arizona, where she is stranded for months on end. While there, Maeve becomes attached to assorted town denizens, befriending an attractive young doctor and obtaining a job at a bookstore run by a handsome children's book author. She also begins to reexamine troubles from her past after a secret she has been keeping is revealed. When Maeve's car is finally fixed, she must decide whether to stay in Unknown or journey on to Los Angeles to complete her voyage of self-discovery. Reichs' witty and entertaining writing style makes Leaving Unknown a trip worth taking.--Boyle, Katherine Copyright 2010 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Published in the UK as The Good Luck Girl, this charming second novel from Reichs (after The Best Day of Someone Else's Life) explores more of the Connelly family. This time the focus is on Vi's younger and seemingly irresponsible sister Maeve, who thinks she's been cursed with bad luck her entire life. Fired from her job, Maeve is determined to start her life anew and travels to California to meet an old friend with her pet bird, Oliver, in tow. However, her bad luck strikes again as she becomes stranded in the small town of Unknown, AZ. Here, Maeve is given time for self-discovery in life and love and is forced to confront feelings she has been avoiding when her new friends uncover a secret from her past. Verdict Mixing humor with tender moments, Reichs creates an enjoyable journey with wonderful writing and likable characters. Though the ending is prolonged, what begins as a superficial tale finishes with a profound outlook. Reichs is the daughter of best-selling author Kathy Reichs.-Anne M. Miskewitch, Chicago P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.