2 hours ago
Friday, September 23, 2011
Escape by Barbara Delinsky
In her luminous new novel, Barbara Delinsky explores every woman’s desire to abandon the endless obligations of work and marriage—and the idea that the most passionate romance can be found with the person you know best.
Emily Aulenbach is thirty, a lawyer married to a lawyer, working in Manhattan. An idealist, she had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse, but she spends her days in a cubicle talking on the phone with victims of tainted bottled water—and she is on the bottler’s side.
And it isn’t only work. It’s her sister, her friends, even her husband, James, with whom she doesn’t connect the way she used to. She doesn’t connect to much in her life, period, with the exception of three things—her computer, her BlackBerry, and her watch.
Acting on impulse, Emily leaves work early one day, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. Groping toward the future, uncharacteristically following her gut rather than her mind, she heads north toward a New Hampshire town tucked between mountains. She knows this town. During her college years, she spent a watershed summer here. Painful as it is to return, she knows that if she is to right her life, she has to start here.
I am a big Barbara Delinsky fan. When I saw her new novel was out, I knew I had to read it.
This book starts off with a bang. Emily leads a very fast moving, stressful life. One day she has decided she has had enough and just ups and walks out of her job without so much as a word. She goes home, grabs a bag and off she goes, ending up in a town where she spent a very memorable summer. Yep, just ups and leaves her husband and job. There have been times when I would love to take off and just leave all my stress and worries behind so I felt a bit of envy for Emily. The responsible person in me thought Emily was nuts but let's face it, this could make for a great story.
Then the story began to drag for me. I kept waiting for something to happen. Then I found myself thinking, "am I supposed to be feeling like Emily when she realized how quiet life can be and she was contemplating what to do with her life?" Emily kept trying to decide who she was and what she should do next but in my eyes, she wasn't trying all that hard. I began to get very frustrated with her. Then to make things more fun, the guy who stole her heart that memorable summer, strolls into town. He was another character who seemed to have no responsibilities.
The last half of the book picked up again. There is a bit of mystery that comes into play and the story picks up momentum. Emily's husband also plays a bigger role in the story.
I would say this was an okay read. It wasn't my favorite Delinsky book. It kept me interested enough to finish it. If the whole book was as intense as the beginning, it would have made for a great story.