I picked up this book because of the fun cover, and I am glad I did; I was looking for a light and entertaining novel, but with good literary merit, and I found it in this book. Feldman creates a wacky tale of dysfunctional but loving friendship and family that will keep you turning pages. When two unlikely strangers meet at an airport cafe on Thanksgiving Day, and end up on a road trip that spans New England, spilling each other's secrets, fears, and character flaws, all the while trying to just make it through the holidays sober, or without getting caught in a lie, you know you're in for a fun read. Funky characters, good dialogue, a Thanksgiving dinner that is probably more dysfunctional than yours, and fun musical gospel, plus a few revelations along the way--you might just have faith in the power of friendship, and be in awe of the generosity of strangers.— Sam
Adam is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who is home for Thanksgiving for the first time in many years. Surrounded by his parents and siblings, nieces and nephews--all of whom have seen him at his worst--he can't shake the feeling that no matter how hard he tries, he'll always be the one who can't get it right.Marissa is a flight attendant whose marriage is strained by simmering tensions over race, class, and ambition. Heading to her in-laws for their picture-perfect holiday family dinner, her anxiety is intensified by the knowledge that she is pregnant from an impulsive one-night stand.In an airport restaurant on Thanksgiving morning, Adam and Marissa meet. Over the course of this day fraught with emotion and expectation, these two strangers will form an unlikely bond as they reckon with their family ties, their pasts, and the choices that will determine their way forward.Joshua Max Feldman focuses his knowing eye on one of the last bastions of classical American idealism, the Thanksgiving family gathering, as he explores our struggles to know--and to be--our best selves. Hilarious and moving, Start without Me is a thoughtful and entertaining page-turner that will leave its indelible mark on your heart.