Book Review – Escape

EscapeEscape by Barbara Delinsky

My rating: (4 / 5)

Makin’ your way in the world today takes everything you got. Takin’ a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you gotta go where everybody knows your name…. Emily needed a Cheers. I’m just sayin’. I kept singing the theme song to myself while I read the book.

From the outside, it looks like Emily has it all. She’s got the gorgeous husband, the expensive home, the high-paying job at the top-notch law firm. But New York hasn’t been kind to Emily. She feels lost and forgotten – don’t we all sometimes? She realizes that she doesn’t have one good friend she can turn to, one person who will understand her, one shoulder she can lean on. She actually hates her job, where she doesn’t get to use her excellent skills as an attorney, instead having become a glorified data entry clerk, taking calls from potential clients who are having the most devastating time in their lives due to corporate negligence. She thinks her husband may be having an affair, and even her book group, that barely sees each other for an hour a month, isn’t an escape, everyone busy on their phones or with their lives and never really connecting.

So Emily escapes to the small town she stayed in the summer between college and law school, drawn back by dreams of a coyote she saw in the woods once upon a time, by a long-neglected friendship with the one woman in her life as close as a sister, and by the lure of possibly seeing her first love, Jude, one more time.

I really enjoyed Escape. I think everyone has had a moment or two when they’ve wanted to just walk out of their job and not look back, get in their car and drive somewhere beautiful, where you don’t have responsibilities or stress. I could relate to Emily and her struggles, her disappointments in life, and the way she managed to put the pieces back together again after walking away and shattering the image of a happy life.

This isn’t high literature, but it’s a departure from some Delinsky novels style wise, in that while it had romantic elements, the primary storyline of the book was a search for oneself. It isn’t a heavy read, but there are definitely moments that make you contemplate your own life. I like books that make me think a bit, and I wasn’t expecting this one to do that, but it certainly delivered on the consider-your-outcome angle.

I would also like to take a moment to say that Delinsky’s sex scenes? Yeah, I actually like them. I usually skip them in books, honestly, because I find them either boring or distasteful (No, I’m not secretly an 11 year old prude, I just prefer doing to reading about – hah!). I found the ones in Escape, as I have in other Delinsky books – to be lovely, romantic, not over-the-top but still very sensual. I don’t know how she does it, but she manages to create an incredible sensual atmosphere without being overly graphic or cliched.

Overall, this was a great late summer/early fall read. Much of it was read lounging on the deck on crisp afternoons with a cup of tea, and it was ridiculously perfect for that. An excellent “get away” book when you can’t take off yourself.

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