Friday, April 27, 2012

Escape by Barbara Delinsky

4 Star

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, Tim, 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.

Kathryn - 4 Star

This story is a bit off beat- at least it was for me- having never really had the urge to walk away from my own life I didn’t really relate to Emily initially.  However Delinsky made Escape come alive with her writing- actually that isn’t even quite right- she made the novel feel natural. I now think that the concept is pretty amazing and I can imagine there are people out there every day who just want to walk away and turn their lives into something else- a very relatable read in that way.

I particularly liked the evolution of Emily’s husband James. At first we’re given a quite typical image of him as a New York lawyer but in the end I really liked his character and was so pleased he was so realistic.  The tug between living the way you want to and living the way you have to (or are expected to) is very strong for most people and I respected his struggle and loved that Delinsky made his evolution so open for the reader.  Emily’s draw to her ex-boyfriend was also realistic but I respected that Delinsky never crossed the line between simple draw and attraction to the next step.

Delinsky also impressed with the insertion of the case Emily falls into –it crossed over into the story without being out of place.

I do have one complaint though- I found the constant reference to the coyotes irritating- I just didn’t get it and they intruded for me on the peace of the novel and my relationship with Emily. I just don’t think they needed to be involved at all and Emily could have found her own mind without them.

I hope this novel’s peace will creep up on any reader and sink into their soul.

Thank you to Random House for our review copy!

Connect with Barbara Delinsky here:

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