Escape by Barbara Delinsky
Emily Aulenback is a successful 30-year-old lawyer married to James – who is also a lawyer. While once she dreamed of representing victims of abuse… instead she sits in her cubicle day after day talking to people who drank tainted water. Day after day the job drones on, the long hours, James putting in even more time than she does, the demands of the lifestyle they had created. Emily lives by her blackberry, her computer, and her watch.
Then one day… suddenly she decided she has had enough. She walks out of her job, packs a bag, leaves her husband a quick note – and starts to drive. One word resounds in her mind….
At first she has no destination… but then she finds herself heading towards a small New Hampshire town that she knew well from her college days. She knows her friend is still there now running a bed and breakfast and maybe she will find her way…. by going back to when life was just easier.
I was initially drawn to this book by the title and the cover. Perhaps a little shallow of me, but come on – the title…. “escape”…. what’s not to like? I think that may be why as I sit here attempting to write this review… I am struggling a bit.
Well… there was a lot I liked about the book… I liked the idea of “the escape”, I mean seriously – I have been there… sometimes I have joked that it would be easier to go and live int he woods…. get a little cabin, no internet, no phone, no commitments… just me living off the land. Of course if you know me… you know this would be cool for about a week before I would be crawling the walls for something to do and ways to connect… … but still, it is there.
I liked Emily, but did not love her. I liked her husband James a lot, finding him patient and even likeable even thought their marriage was off track, you could see it was both their doing. I liked the small town Emily escapes too, her friend Vicki, and the mini saga of Lee… I even think I liked Jude as “the other man” even though… well… he isn’t…
It almost felt like one story was being told in the beginning… 1) Emily is receiving letters from her ex boy friend and decides to escape to where she knows he will be, and then 2) Emily is deeply in love with her husband and is just trying to find a happy medium…
Even as I write this I am still torn, my gut says there was an opportunity for a great story here that was not developed. It started strong, and quickly fithered (my word) into just an ok read… I felt many of the story lines never came to fruit…. there was more to the wolves, but we never got there, there was more to Jude, but again… unfinished, … so after all that…. my one sentence summary is:
Started with a strong boil that quickly went to a slow simmer.
(oh and a funny but annoying tid bit… Amazon and a few other sites have the synopsis of the story with Tim as Emily’s husband. There is no Tim in the book. I actually thought I was a bit wackers when I first read that, thinking… I am sure his name is not Tim. I seen it on a couple other book publisher sites as well…)
My 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include: Escape