“Denial had kept me in a bad place. Now it would help me escape”
This is a quote from Barbara Delinsky’s newest novel, “Escape” and when I read it at the beginning of the novel; I knew it was going to foreshadow the story as a whole. We’re introduced to Emily, who’s in her thirties and has had it up to here (*please envision me holding my hand up above my head) with her life. She’s a successful lawyer, happily married and owns a beautiful home in New York City, but for some reason none of those things give her any sense of fulfillment. Instead of discussing her feelings with her husband or manager, she abruptly leaves work one morning, packs a few things and writes a note to her husband James saying she needs to get away. Once she’s behind the wheel, Emily has a hard to time figuring out where she’ll be able to achieve a sense of clarity.
She decides that the best place to calm her mind is to escape the city noise and head to Bell Valley, the town where her university best friend Vicki Bell lives and where Vicki’s brother, Jude (Emily’s first love) is planning on visiting in a few weeks. Back in the day, Emily escaped from the town of Bell Valley when she learned of Jude’s infidelity and upon her return; people are hesitant to welcome her back. She’s fine with the peace and quiet because it gives her a chance to figure out why she continues to run from her life when the going gets hard.
There’s no one in particular she’s running away from, she runs from the life that she and her husband have created. She realizes the dreams they once had of practicing law have taken a completely different route and she’s fed up. There are times I’m sure we’ve all considered running away, leaving our day to day lives in the dust, but then reality kicks in and our dreams of sequestering ourselves away in a cabin fade fast. As much as I’d consider ‘escaping’, I would never actually do it. Emily’s ability to do so caused me to find her irresponsible and selfish at times. This isn’t to say I didn’t even the book as a whole, I did. I just found it difficult to relate to Emily and her decisions.
We all have our guilty pleasures and Barbara Delinsky is one mine. I always get enthralled in her plot lines and complicated characters. If you’re looking for a novel about rediscovering what’s really important in life, then this is a book you should definitely consider!