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When You Went Away [Kindle Edition]

Michael Baron
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Only a few months ago, Gerry Rubato had everything he thought he needed from life. He was passionately in love with his college sweetheart after nearly twenty years of marriage, he had a bright, independent-minded daughter, and he had the surprising addition of a new child on the way. Then everything changed with stunning rapidity. With little explanation, his daughter ran away with her older boyfriend. Then, only a month after giving birth to their son, his wife died suddenly.

Now, Gerry needs to be everything to his infant child while he contends with two losses he can barely comprehend. And when a woman walks into his life as a friend and their relationship verges on something more, Gerry must redefine all that he knows about himself, about love, about loyalty, and about his dreams.

An emotionally charged novel filled with warmth, humor, wisdom, and unforgettable characters, When You Went Away is a novel you will take to your heart.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Baron's carefully crafted debut tale, the Story Plant's first mass market original, is too true-to-life to be interesting. Gerry Rubato's wife has died and his teenage daughter has run away from home, leaving him alone to raise an infant son. Despite the recent tragedies, the focus of the novel is on rather ordinary non-events, such as Gerry's work at a catalogue company, opinions about the Yankees and tedious descriptions of food. As Gerry struggles to confront his runaway child, he chronicles his emotional reactions in a series of journal entries. A romantic subplot involving a colleague provides predictable conflict. Buried in the minutiae is an earnest tale of a man's emotional awakening and grief, but a too-easy resolution makes this more of a tour through Gerry's processing than a story.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Nicholas Sparks fans will rejoice to hear there’s a new male author on the scene who writes beautifully about love and emotionally charged relationships.  Tears of sadness and joy go hand in hand in this immensely satisfying story.  It’s hard to believe that this is Baron’s first work of fiction. Outstanding!"
-- Romantic Times Book Reviews

"A gem. I couldn't put it down. The characters are people I'd like to know."
-- Peggy Webb, author of the Southern Cousins Mystery Series

"Michael Baron writes with such depth that the emotions were tangible. It is rare that a talent like this comes along. This will be a classic. This is one to read and recommend."
-- BookreviewsRus

“When You Went Away is a very powerful tale full of laughter, tears, and romantic moments that keep you enthralled with the authors voice. Between the wonderful scenes of Gerry being a father, his journal entries to his missing daughter, and a look into his past, I think every reader will fall a little in love with both this outstanding author as well as this amazing character!”
-- Coffee Time Romance

”Touching, tender and gentle, the moments between father and son in When You Went Away pull at the heartstrings and the tear ducts...an exceptional read, and one that makes me want to watch for more works by this author in the future.”
-- Freelancing and Fiction

“Michael Baron creates an unforgettable tale....I truly loved this story. It is so well-written that it's hard to keep yourself separate from the fictional characters. I absolutely recommend this book and plan to read every other work written by this author. Triple-A reading!”
-- Fresh Fiction

“When You Went Away really surprised me with how much I enjoyed reading this book. Gerry and Reese stole a place in my heart. Mr. Baron is a prolific writer. He is going on my must read list of authors.”
-- Cheryl&...

Product Details

  • File Size: 792 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Story Plant, The (October 6, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003JTHBWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,772 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deserves Another Half Star December 17, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
4 1/2 stars is what I'd give this novel, with the only reason for it not quite getting five stars having to do with the extraneous and, in my opinion, unnecessary baseball references that did nothing to further the plot and pulled me out of the novel. That said, this story is a treasure of unexpectedness. Touching, tender and gentle, the moments between father and son in When You Went Away pull at the heartstrings and the tear ducts.

The book is told in a near-memoir style, even though it's a fiction novel, and the reader gets to go along with Gerry, our protagonist, on his journey of surviving after both his wife and daughter leave him--his wife through death, and his teen daughter through running away from home. His daughter left prior to his wife dying, so he knows he's going to have to tell her, if he ever finds her.

Left to raise a near-newborn son, alone, Gerry has to learn how to live again. He was young when he married, and had been married for the majority of his adult life, and now he's a single father to Reese, the unplanned but much wanted child born just month prior to Maureen's, his wife, death.

Ally, a co-worker and unexpected love interest for Gerry, helps him feel again, though he questions his commitment to Maureen because he feels so much for Ally so soon after his wife has died. It's those feelings that allow him to see and understand what his daughter might have been feeling when she left home as a teenager, to run away with her love of the moment, Mick.

I won't give away the ending, because you'll really want to read this one for yourself. I do want to mention, the ending slightly disappointed me, because it seemed to come too quickly, without enough full resolution.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When You Went Away and Came Back October 12, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Michael Baron's When You Went Away is more than a novel about grief and fatherhood; it's a novel about being lost and the journey to find the right path.

Gerry Rubato has lost his whole world--first his daughter Tanya runs away with an older man at age 17 and then he loses his wife tragically. All he has left to center him is his infant son, Reese. The story is told from Gerry's point of view, and much of the beginning pages focuses on his grief and confusion about how to move on. Readers will be swept up in his grief, his struggle to find his way, and the dilemmas that face him when he begins to fall in love again. However, despite the focus on Gerry's grief, readers may not find When You Went Away to be a tearjerker.

Reese becomes Gerry's world for a long two months of seclusion before he heads back to work at a catalog firm. Codie, his wife's sister, becomes a sounding board for Gerry and he for her, allowing their relationship to go beyond sister-in-law and brother-in-law to confidants. The first few weeks back to work for Gerry are rough with sympathetic looks and a number of "How are you feeling?" questions from coworkers. Eventually, he finds a friend in Ally Rittan, a fellow creative mind.

Readers will embark upon a meditative journey with Gerry and Reese as Gerry works through the loss of his wife, the realization that love can find you at the most inopportune moments, and the harsh realities of repairing a relationship with his lost daughter. Some of the most insightful sections of the novel involve Gerry's journal conversations with his daughter Tanya; they are frank and raw.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Yawn April 6, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you read this book expecting anything to ever actually happen, you will be disappointed. There is very little action in the book; just the musings of a recent widower. The passages with Gerry and Reese are very sweet and heartwarming as are the memories he shares of his wife, but the story lines with his girlfriend, Ally, and his daughter, Tanya, are weak and unrealistic. I am glad I downloaded this book for free.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Gerry Rubato, the main character, is left alone to raise his infant son after his wife dies and teenage daughter has run away. For the sake of his son, Gerry tries to survive one day at a time while coming to terms with his grief. As he experiences daily struggles, he tries to understand what went wrong with his daughter. How did he lose her?

Gerry meets someone from work, but he's not sure if he's ready love again. His story is so moving, so real, and so touching. The realism reminded me of Elizabeth Berg's OPEN HOUSE with an ending that brought the entire story together nicely.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By Stevie
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading "When You Went Away" and found it extremely moving.

Mr. Baron clearly conveys the pain and confusion of a suddenly single father of a four-month old son. The main character's wife unexpectedly passed away just months after the child's birth. Their 17 year-old daughter ran away from home one month before the baby's birth and has cut off all communication.

The main character does receive support from his wife's younger sister and another young woman who enters his life as he returns to work.

Grief, confusion and guilt over his feelings for the younger woman so recently after his wife's death - all handled with delicacy and care.

Definitely a book worth reading.

I have also recently read "Crossing the Bridge", "The Journey Home" and can't wait for "Leaves" all by Michael Baron.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars must read
this was a very touching story. it was hard to put the book down. I recommended it to my sister I enjoyed it so much. Read more
Published 20 days ago by Barbara Cronin
5.0 out of 5 stars Riveting
This book was so full of emotion that I read it in four sittings. It put in words, thoughts that I have felt and could not express. I really enjoyed this.
Published 1 month ago by virginia lake
3.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of the book was really good and tapered off a bit but...
The beginning of the book was really good and tapered off a bit but still enjoyed it. A bit like a Nicholas Sparks book type read.
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartfelt
Told from the heart. Made me wait to see if the final outcome was what I was hoping for. Read this book two times which I seldom do.
Published 3 months ago by Marilyn Plantz
4.0 out of 5 stars When yo went away
I like to read so I chose this book it was very interesting and I did enjoy it . I would recommend it.
Published 4 months ago by Shirley
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start. Poor ending
It had a good story line but the ending felt predictable and I felt like the story just stopped short.
Published 4 months ago by Jennifer Kennedy
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
As you can probably tell, you will need the tissues for this one. Thoroughly good read. You have to wait to find out some of the details, which made me wonder if I'd missed them,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by redesign12
5.0 out of 5 stars When You Went Away
This was a favorite of mine. I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks. Are there more like this? Please let me knkow
Published 5 months ago by frances wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent
Would recommend to others and I'd there another one to come. I had not read this author before , but would avain
Published 5 months ago by Bonnie L. Manis
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful tale of life's ups and downs
Wonderful book. Couldn't put it down. Simply a great story of how life can be so challenging yet if we are open to it will always show us the way. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Crystal
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More About the Author

I grew up in the New York area and I've lived there my entire life. I worked in retail and taught high school English before I got my first book contract. I have gotten several additional book contracts since then, which is fortunate because I didn't have the patience to work in retail and, while I quite enjoyed teaching, my approach was a bit too unconventional for most school systems. One school administrator told me that, "there are more important things than being a dynamic teacher." Since I couldn't name any of those things (at least in the context of school), I figured I didn't have a long-term future in the profession. Hence, I became a writer, where I believe people appreciate a certain level of dynamism.


Though I started with nonfiction, I have always loved fiction and I have always wanted to write it. I've always had a particular affection for love stories. In fact, the very first book-length thing I ever wrote, when I was thirteen, was a love story. Mind you, it was the kind of love story that a thirteen-year-old boy would write, but it was a love story nonetheless. I have a deep passion for writing about relationships - family relationships, working relationships, friendships, and, of course, romantic relationships - and I can only truly explore this by writing fiction. These novels have given me a way to voice the millions of things running through my head.


My wife and kids are the center of my life. My wife is the inspiration for all of my love stories and my children enthrall me, challenge me, and keep me moving. One of the primary reasons I wrote my first novel, WHEN YOU WENT AWAY was that I wanted to write about being a father. Aside from my family, I have a few other burning passions. I'm a pop culture junkie with an especially strong interest in music, I love fine food (and any restaurant shaped like a hot dog), and I read far too many sports blogs for my own good.


You might have noticed that I haven't published a photo of myself. This isn't because I'm involved in the Witness Protection program or because I have an innate fear of cameras. It's because Michael Baron is a pseudonym. I'm writing these novels "undercover" because they're not entirely compatible with the nonfiction books I write and I didn't want to confuse readers. We're all different people sometimes, right? I just decided to give my alter ego another name.


My fourth novel, SPINNING, has just come out. It's a love story, too. Naturally.

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