Escape Info

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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, 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.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Escape:

3

Jul 16, 2011

I am a Barbara Delinsky fan, I have read many of her books, but I must say I was a little disappointed with this book. I just could not connect with the main character, Emily, at all, I found her a bit spoiled and self-centered, and just a bit boring. I could not make the connection between her and the coyotes, it seemed a bit weird to me. However, that does not mean I won't read anymore Delinsky books. (I love her books.) I just think being from the older generation, this book will probably be I am a Barbara Delinsky fan, I have read many of her books, but I must say I was a little disappointed with this book. I just could not connect with the main character, Emily, at all, I found her a bit spoiled and self-centered, and just a bit boring. I could not make the connection between her and the coyotes, it seemed a bit weird to me. However, that does not mean I won't read anymore Delinsky books. (I love her books.) I just think being from the older generation, this book will probably be enjoyed much more by the younger generation. I know if I ever pulled a stunt like the main character Emily did, I don't know if I would have had a home to come home to.

The book was very predictable, with a strange ending, at least to me. I must say, Emily had a very understanding and long suffering husband. I just kept wanting to yell at the top of my lungs at Emily, ENOUGH, GO HOME!!! I suffered through the whole book, made it to the end. I'm sorry Ms. Delinsky, this book was just not my cup of tea. ...more
2

Jul 19, 2011

Emily is 32; living in New York; working 16-18 hours a day at a large law firm; married to James, a wonderful man whom she loves dearly, who also happens to be a lawyer, and who works more hours than she does. Like every other morning, when Emily wakes up at 6 am she’s already receiving and sending text messages from her boss, husband, clients, sister, and colleagues, etc. She gets to work and it’s while she’s dealing with a file that she feels the walls closing in on her. She immediately leaves Emily is 32; living in New York; working 16-18 hours a day at a large law firm; married to James, a wonderful man whom she loves dearly, who also happens to be a lawyer, and who works more hours than she does. Like every other morning, when Emily wakes up at 6 am she’s already receiving and sending text messages from her boss, husband, clients, sister, and colleagues, etc. She gets to work and it’s while she’s dealing with a file that she feels the walls closing in on her. She immediately leaves the office, goes home, packs, grabs the car and leaves the city without telling anyone. At that moment she doesn’t know where she’s going, if she should call her husband, and comes to the conclusion she hates all technological gadgets. She also knows that the life she is leading is not the life she signed up for. She and her husband had a dream and it’s not what they’re living. She’s trying to figure out where it all went wrong. She needs to change that. In a nutshell, she’s trying to find herself.

Who doesn’t at times want to chuck it all in and just leave at some point in their life. God knows I have. Leaving her job is one thing, but leaving the husband she loves? No. As I read on, I found Emily to be self-centered and selfish, not to mention boring. It’s all about what she wants. She wants the best of both worlds, but instead of being an adult, she waits for the answer by some means. I will say that I really adored her husband, James. I don’t think in reality a man like that would put up with Emily (I could be wrong). My issues with her: if you don’t like your job, find another one; don’t like techie-gadgets, throw them away; love your husband, don’t leave him. Talk to him. If he won’t listen, find a way to make him listen. Running away will not solve the problem – it creates more. By the way, I have no idea what the references to the wolves meant.

I can’t say I loved the book, but I also can’t say that I hated it. I know it’s just a made-up story but I didn’t think it was written or thought out well. There were other characters introduced that I thought didn’t need to be included. It’s as though the author was going to go in one direction with the story, but instead went another. As for the ending, it was what I predicted half-way thru.
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2

Jul 18, 2011

You know how sometimes you just have to be in the right place in your life to enjoy a book? Well, this one's not doing it for me. I think I would have liked it better in my younger years. Now, I'm too old, jaded, synical. The protagonist Emily, is a lawyer, escaping from her life in NY. Her husband is also a lawyer, they own a house, a nice car, are both young and beautiful and struggling to conceive a child. Emily does not feel fulfilled in her life and is looking for more. Perhaps if Delinsky You know how sometimes you just have to be in the right place in your life to enjoy a book? Well, this one's not doing it for me. I think I would have liked it better in my younger years. Now, I'm too old, jaded, synical. The protagonist Emily, is a lawyer, escaping from her life in NY. Her husband is also a lawyer, they own a house, a nice car, are both young and beautiful and struggling to conceive a child. Emily does not feel fulfilled in her life and is looking for more. Perhaps if Delinsky elaborated a little more in the beginning to get you on Emily's side, it would have worked. But, sorry but I can't relate to "escaping" from that world. I'm much happier reading a rags to riches story. ...more
5

Jan 03, 2012

Today at 5AM I dropped my significant other off at his work. Instead of turning right out of the parking lot as I always do, I turned left and kept going. Yeah, I can relate to this book. It's a different mind-set, driving off into the unknown, leaving the known and dissatisfaction behind. For a while I imagined just driving and driving, stopping in new or even revisiting old places, getting a room, checking in relaxing, walking, exploring, visiting. There are no time constraints, no pressures, Today at 5AM I dropped my significant other off at his work. Instead of turning right out of the parking lot as I always do, I turned left and kept going. Yeah, I can relate to this book. It's a different mind-set, driving off into the unknown, leaving the known and dissatisfaction behind. For a while I imagined just driving and driving, stopping in new or even revisiting old places, getting a room, checking in relaxing, walking, exploring, visiting. There are no time constraints, no pressures, an easing of stress, responsibilities.

Alas, my bank account cannot manage an escape such as Emily's and I'm back home after a short, very short, sojourn. I enjoyed reading "Escape" and found it totally plausible, not just for myself, but for the many others in mind numbing situations. My sister, for one, is driven by the pressures of "Billable. Billable. Billable," so I understand and can relate to both main characters. I truly enjoyed every word and circumstance, especially the animal refuge and the symbolic coyotes. ...more
2

Dec 03, 2011

At one point or another everyone searches for an escape from their busy life. An escape from work, family, technology, friends, obligations. An escape from the harsh reality of the real world. And the promise of escape from my whining child – even a short-term one – is what drew me to this book in the first place.

This is the story of 32-year-old Emily – wife of James, employee of Lane Lavash, and a woman who dreams of becoming a mother. Emily thinks she’s living the dream in New York City until At one point or another everyone searches for an escape from their busy life. An escape from work, family, technology, friends, obligations. An escape from the harsh reality of the real world. And the promise of escape from my whining child – even a short-term one – is what drew me to this book in the first place.

This is the story of 32-year-old Emily – wife of James, employee of Lane Lavash, and a woman who dreams of becoming a mother. Emily thinks she’s living the dream in New York City until one day she realizes that there’s nothing perfect about the “perfect life” she’s been living.

At this realization Vicki suddenly has an overwhelming need to get away from it all. So she does. She packs a bag, bundles everything into her husband’s flashy sports car, and takes off to reconnect with old friend Vicki Bell in a small New Hampshire town haunted by memories of an old life and an old love.

Emily keeps in minimal contact with her mother and her husband James but otherwise has no desire to maintain even a shred of her previous life. She has no plan – aside from having no plan – and decides to play everything by ear. And when Emily’s old love Jude comes onto the scene Emily is tested: as a wife, as a friend, and as a human being.

I wanted to love this book – I really did. The compelling summary on the book jacket made it seem like something I would love! But while this book started out with great promise it sort of stopped moving forward a few chapters in. Throw in some very strange metaphors – including the parallel of a man and a coyote and I couldn’t force myself to read one more word about 50 pages in!

Bottom Line: This is the first of Barbara Delinsky’s books that I’ve had a chance to read an unfortunately I am not exactly running to pick up the rest of her works. It makes me sad to write this but Escape is boring, plain and simple. I don’t recommend it at all. ...more
1

Jul 30, 2012

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. All right. Although this book started out promisingly, it got more and more tedious by the page, and then more and more ludicrous by the chapter. It starts off being about a woman who runs away from her New York life to try to reconnect with her inner self, but ends up including wild love-making sessions in the woods, long-winded obsessions about coyotes, arson, hostage-taking, SWAT teams and her husband getting shot. Of course there was paragraph after paragraph about coyotes howling and their All right. Although this book started out promisingly, it got more and more tedious by the page, and then more and more ludicrous by the chapter. It starts off being about a woman who runs away from her New York life to try to reconnect with her inner self, but ends up including wild love-making sessions in the woods, long-winded obsessions about coyotes, arson, hostage-taking, SWAT teams and her husband getting shot. Of course there was paragraph after paragraph about coyotes howling and their significance, and then pages and pages of discussions between Emily and her husband James about what they wanted in life, which would be fine except that it was so realistic that it became tedious, much like how one would feel when one is stuck in the private conversations/arguments between a real-life couple - at first it's intriguing and slightly voyeuristic, then you lose interest and really, really want to be somewhere else. I found my eyes glazing over and I skimmed past paragraphs, because I couldn't be BOTHERED to read more of the same drivel. I kept thinking how I would rate this book when I was reading it (never a good sign, when you're not totally absorbed in the story, but actually looking forward to posting about it on goodreads). The rating started at a promising 4-star, but very steadily dropped to a 1-star or below. I started swearing to myself when some new fiasco showed up in the pages. The character of Jude, as well as Emily's father were incredibly annoying because they are so pig-headedly male, but Emily never gave them the shouting-at that they so richly deserve. I wanted to poke my eyes out, but then again, perhaps it's because I know men like that in real life. The book is too serious to be a chicklit book; its attempt at being a crime thriller is too weak; its philosophical musings about the meaning of life too contrived - the book tries to be too many things at once and succeeds at nothing. This book, like Jude, was so promising, but turned out to be a major disappointment. ...more
5

Apr 23, 2012

Escape is the 41st stand-alone novel by popular author, Barbara Delinsky. One Friday morning, New York lawyer Emily Aulenbach takes stock of her life and realises it has strayed so far from her dream that she needs to escape. She takes off her watch, turns off her Blackberry, leaves behind her laptop and, without telling anyone or having any firm plans, heads north. After a few days, she finds herself in Bell Valley, New Hampshire, a place where her life changed radically one summer, ten years Escape is the 41st stand-alone novel by popular author, Barbara Delinsky. One Friday morning, New York lawyer Emily Aulenbach takes stock of her life and realises it has strayed so far from her dream that she needs to escape. She takes off her watch, turns off her Blackberry, leaves behind her laptop and, without telling anyone or having any firm plans, heads north. After a few days, she finds herself in Bell Valley, New Hampshire, a place where her life changed radically one summer, ten years ago, and a place where she hopes to, once again, find herself. In Bell Valley, she renews a neglected friendship with Vicki Bell, submits to the healing powers of the Animal Refuge and reconnects with the mystical coyote of that long-ago summer. But an old lover, Vicki’s brother Jude, has also returned to Bell Valley; Emily is wedded to James, but the problems she ran away from include her unfulfilling job, her demanding family and friends and her dysfunctional marriage, so is Jude’s presence a help or a hindrance? In this novel, Delinsky gives the reader characters with depth, spirit and integrity and a plot that is original and unpredictable, with an exciting climax. Delinsky touches on a range of topical subjects: the pressure of modern-day life; damage claims against large corporations; animal refuges; trust funds; intimidation and stalking; infertility and life balance. I had not read any Delinsky novels for quite some time, so I had forgotten what a pleasure these are to read. I really enjoyed this one. ...more
3

May 19, 2012

I really like Ms. Delinsky's books, but this was not a favorite. It got off to a good start and had some action toward the end, but the majority of the story was a little too "nothing" for me, and I found myself not able to relate to the main character a lot of the time. We were never given sufficient reason for why she would want to escape the way she did, and I would have liked to have seen a few more pages explaining why she found both her husband and her job so unbearable. Once the story I really like Ms. Delinsky's books, but this was not a favorite. It got off to a good start and had some action toward the end, but the majority of the story was a little too "nothing" for me, and I found myself not able to relate to the main character a lot of the time. We were never given sufficient reason for why she would want to escape the way she did, and I would have liked to have seen a few more pages explaining why she found both her husband and her job so unbearable. Once the story got going, it was hard for me to be sympathetic to someone who seemed immature and selfish more often than I wanted her to be. I have a problem with couples who love each other like crazy but for some silly reason aren't together, and there was some of that here. The husband we come to know seems like a completely different person than the brief glimpse we had of him before she ran away. There were other inconsistencies that made things just not ring true. I also couldn't relate to the coyote part at all. I understand the symbolism, but it seemed forced, and I don't usually feel that in books by this author. I didn't completely dislike it, but I don't think it was anywhere near as good as many of her others. The title is intriguing, but I think it could have been much better. ...more
3

Oct 25, 2011

For the mostpart I enjoyed Escape. An easy read and a story I could identify with.

However...

**SPOILER**

I didn't expect the hostage situation, in fact I found it inconsistent with the storyline. I think what bothered me most was both James and Jude seemed completely out of character in handling the situation. James may have been a great negotiator but I don't believe he would've walked into such a dangerous situation, especially with a baby on the way - he was portrayed as way too responsible For the mostpart I enjoyed Escape. An easy read and a story I could identify with.

However...

**SPOILER**

I didn't expect the hostage situation, in fact I found it inconsistent with the storyline. I think what bothered me most was both James and Jude seemed completely out of character in handling the situation. James may have been a great negotiator but I don't believe he would've walked into such a dangerous situation, especially with a baby on the way - he was portrayed as way too responsible for that. It bothered me too that the local cops just stepped aside to let the big city lawyer take over the negotiations - seemed unrealistic to me and a little insulting to small town law enforcement. Although Jude was selfish and a risk taker, I didn't think he was an idiot, and barging in on a volatile hostage situation so he could get a rush just seemed silly.

The coyotes I could take or leave. I think I understand where the author was going with it but the story could've survived without that aspect.

Had the characters battled it out in the courtroom rather than in the victim's home, I think I would've enjoyed Escape more but it was still a good read.

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1

Jul 16, 2011

I'm very surprised by the number of stars this book received. I have read others by Delinsky that were also escapist fiction, but much better than this one. I read in the afterword that she wrote this book on the advice of her fans. I don't think that was a very good idea. We fans are not authors--what do we know? Premise was ok, the whole "coyote" thing--stupid. And, there were too many things going on at once, but not a lot of detail. I feel like I need to emphasize how lame I felt the coyote I'm very surprised by the number of stars this book received. I have read others by Delinsky that were also escapist fiction, but much better than this one. I read in the afterword that she wrote this book on the advice of her fans. I don't think that was a very good idea. We fans are not authors--what do we know? Premise was ok, the whole "coyote" thing--stupid. And, there were too many things going on at once, but not a lot of detail. I feel like I need to emphasize how lame I felt the coyote plot was.

1.5 stars. Yes, I kept reading. The characters weren't horrible. It wasn't horribly written. It wasn't a horrible premise.

I look at my Kindle, and when I see this book, contrasted with, let's say, The Passage, I think--wow, THAT was a great book. Or, A Visit from the Goon Squad--even better. I need to remove this one from my device, stat. ...more
4

Mar 29, 2017

Life can change all the dreams you've made about your life. Especially when the dreams you had are making you unhappy or near a nervous breakdown. Emily was in her element as a lawyer but was not doing the lawyerly things she planned to do. Her job was making her ill (mentally; would soon become physically). She had to take a huge leap of self-adjustment in order to figure out what was important to her and what she really needed to do in order to feel whole, alive and content with herself.

This Life can change all the dreams you've made about your life. Especially when the dreams you had are making you unhappy or near a nervous breakdown. Emily was in her element as a lawyer but was not doing the lawyerly things she planned to do. Her job was making her ill (mentally; would soon become physically). She had to take a huge leap of self-adjustment in order to figure out what was important to her and what she really needed to do in order to feel whole, alive and content with herself.

This book makes you re-evaluate what's most important to you. It shows you the downsides of never growing up , the issues you run from (Jude), how to return to happy. Enjoy reading. I certainly did. ...more
3

Aug 30, 2011

For decades I have loved the works of B. Delinsky, Anne Rivers Siddens and Nancy Thayer. In the last month I have read the newest novel of all 3 authors and am astounded by what they have lost. Delinsky was always a sure bet for a mesmerizing, gripping and beautifully written novel. Escape escaped all of these adjectives. There were at least half a dozen typos and several grammatical errors, as well! What is going on w/ the editing these days?
The premise of this book was a good one: What happens For decades I have loved the works of B. Delinsky, Anne Rivers Siddens and Nancy Thayer. In the last month I have read the newest novel of all 3 authors and am astounded by what they have lost. Delinsky was always a sure bet for a mesmerizing, gripping and beautifully written novel. Escape escaped all of these adjectives. There were at least half a dozen typos and several grammatical errors, as well! What is going on w/ the editing these days?
The premise of this book was a good one: What happens when today's female yuppies,( in this case, a 32 yr. old attorney), simply get fed up with the rat race, technology, and never taking time to enjoy nature and genuine communication? Emily, the protagonist, decides she simply has to get away and returns to a small NH town where she once spent a romantic, magical summer, falling in love with Jude (basically a spoiled loser) and enjoying the warmth of Jude's family. She returns, not looking to be with Jude, since Emily is happily married, but to find herself again, find the young girl she was, just after college. The cast of characters include unscrupulous lawyers, bastard swindlers, a meek baker, an old best friend, an overbearing matriarch, and a wonderful husband (James). Sounds good, but it just didn't flow well until the last 30 pages when there was some really excitement. There are coyotes and animals in need of love and rescuing, but the characters need rescuing as well. Again, the premise was good, but on many levels the story was slow and never did congeal as well as the author is capable. I could not believe the numerous typos that were so blatant that anyone would notice, let alone a paid editor. Are these authors simply getting too old? I would hate to think that as they are not much older than I am, and I do not yet feel my brain has slipped! It is not the worst book ever, but definitely well under par for Ms. Delinsky! ...more
3

Oct 16, 2011

Nice, quiet read. Nothing too complex, the characters were people I could relate to and the plot was simple. Who, if they really had the chance, has not wished they could not quit everything they were doing and run away for a few days and just "find themselves"? The main character in the book did just that and she ends up running back to the place where she found her first love (not her current husband) and where her closest girlfriend lives. But wait, before she leaves "her current life" she Nice, quiet read. Nothing too complex, the characters were people I could relate to and the plot was simple. Who, if they really had the chance, has not wished they could not quit everything they were doing and run away for a few days and just "find themselves"? The main character in the book did just that and she ends up running back to the place where she found her first love (not her current husband) and where her closest girlfriend lives. But wait, before she leaves "her current life" she gets another letter from her first love telling her that he is going back home- just an FYI to her. Yes, she thought she pefectly happy with her husband but why not tempt herself and make sure that she really is happy and although she says throughout the book that she is not going back to that town because of him, come on folks..lets be real. What I liked about the book was that it made me escape my own daily life and that is what books are supposed to do I liked that the Emily realized what was important to her before it was too late in life. Perhaps if other people can take a bit of Emily's enlightenment and apply that it their lives, they could be more compassionate, less materialistic, more real, less busy, more friendly, etc. ...more
4

Sep 17, 2012

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 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. ...more
1

Nov 20, 2011

I too was unable (or unwilling) to finish the book. So much about it is wrong, from the cookie-cutter characters to the unnatural dialogue. I should write more, but I get tired thinking about it. I'm just glad I didn't waste any more time in attempting to finish it.
3

May 26, 2017

This was a good story with a happy ending. A very nice read. I enjoyed it. When I started the story I kept thinking, no one would do what this woman did, leave her job, husband and home, just walking away and telling no one where she was going. But the story did make sense and I also realized as I was reading that I had done something similar to this when I was in my 20's. So it can happen and does and after that I could relate to the character and the story. Very well done. Will definitely This was a good story with a happy ending. A very nice read. I enjoyed it. When I started the story I kept thinking, no one would do what this woman did, leave her job, husband and home, just walking away and telling no one where she was going. But the story did make sense and I also realized as I was reading that I had done something similar to this when I was in my 20's. So it can happen and does and after that I could relate to the character and the story. Very well done. Will definitely recommend if you like this type of book which I do. ...more
2

Oct 04, 2016

I started this book while on holiday back in July and really struggled to get into it. I normally love Barbara Delinsky's novels, but this one didn't even feel like it was written by her. Maybe part of it was the first-person perspective? I just didn't care about the protagonist whatsoever. I kept plugging away at this book in the hope that I would enjoy it more as the story developed, but I got about halfway through and still wasn't any more invested in the story and finally decided to give up I started this book while on holiday back in July and really struggled to get into it. I normally love Barbara Delinsky's novels, but this one didn't even feel like it was written by her. Maybe part of it was the first-person perspective? I just didn't care about the protagonist whatsoever. I kept plugging away at this book in the hope that I would enjoy it more as the story developed, but I got about halfway through and still wasn't any more invested in the story and finally decided to give up on it. Every author writes a dud, and I guess this is Delinsky's. I'm really bad at abandoning books, but this one was getting me down and gave me a real reader's block as I didn't want to start anything new until I'd finished it, but it was taking forever to read. Basically, it's okay to give up on books that you're not enjoying. I need to do it more. ...more
4

Sep 04, 2011

Emily and James seem to have it all. They are both high powered New York attorneys with a home in the right neighborhood, and the fast paced lifestyle of the city. However, in a sudden realization, Emily runs home and packs up her bag, grabs the car, and races out of the city with the urgent need to escape. She can't breathe. Her life has turned into a machinical routine and the life with James that she used to love is gone and in its place is 19 hour days, more work at home, and little sleep Emily and James seem to have it all. They are both high powered New York attorneys with a home in the right neighborhood, and the fast paced lifestyle of the city. However, in a sudden realization, Emily runs home and packs up her bag, grabs the car, and races out of the city with the urgent need to escape. She can't breathe. Her life has turned into a machinical routine and the life with James that she used to love is gone and in its place is 19 hour days, more work at home, and little sleep much less time for intimacy with her husband. She drives aimlessly until she ends up in Bell Valley, New Hampshire, the hometown of her best friend Vicki Bell where she spent an unforgettable summer. This may be a dangerous decision for Emily because although the town and its relaxing atmosphere have everything to offer Emily, who needs rest and time to re-examine her life, also holds Jude Bell the wild and dangerous man she was involved with that unforgettable summer long ago. Jude, Vicki's brother, is everything her husband is not...spontaneous, carefree, wild, reckless, and adventure. But Emily doesn't want that extreme either. She wants to find herself and a place in the middle where she can lead the life she wants with James, balanced between work, friends, and marriage. She soon finds a relaxing routine in the small town volunteering in the animal refuge, helping Vicki run her inn, and calling James to reassure him she isn't leaving him. She meets Lee, an employee at the inn, who needs Emily's and James help. With that bond between them, Emily and James learn together what is really their dream.

An enjoyable read by a quite capable author, this cannot be labeled chick-lit. This is a contemporary women's fiction read that may at first seem to have a familiar plot, but Delinsky delineates her story from the old plot and adds her own spin to this couple who need to learn find balance in their lives. There are some action packed parts mixed in with love, relationships, and good friends. You can't help finding yourself cheering on Emily and James in hopes that they can make it. ...more
3

Sep 02, 2011

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. 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....

escape.

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.

Why?

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. ...more
1

Nov 07, 2019

Ever read reviews where you wonder how your opinion can be so far from every other reviewers? This was me, eyes boggling at the love for James, the husband, in the top-listed reviews of this unintentional horror novel masquerading as uplifting chiclit.

I hated James. I thought he was a selfish, sexist, horrible piece of shit and the book would have been better if he’d died. Painfully. Obviously this is not the consensus. Other people seem to find it lovely that he tells his wife to run his Ever read reviews where you wonder how your opinion can be so far from every other reviewers? This was me, eyes boggling at the love for James, the husband, in the top-listed reviews of this unintentional horror novel masquerading as uplifting chiclit.

I hated James. I thought he was a selfish, sexist, horrible piece of shit and the book would have been better if he’d died. Painfully. Obviously this is not the consensus. Other people seem to find it lovely that he tells his wife to run his errands and to get dolled up and act like a performing monkey / trophy wife for social events she must put on for his work, but sabotages her career boosting events by not even turning up at them.

This book starts off strongly, with Emily realising her dreams of being an activist lawyer have been buried under her long hours working at an evil, shit job mixed in with hours of working for her selfish, shit husband, and she leaves them both, dramatically and without notice. Unfortunately her ill-considered escape plan revolves around fooling around with an ( even shittier than her husband ) old flame and some sub-Hallmark cutesiness at an animal shelter.

Emily makes extremely awful decisions that appear to be based on realising how cute she thinks her dreadful piggy husband is when he’s being in alpha-male rugged country jerk mode. As opposed to his usual alpha-male corporate prat mode. But hey, after the promising first chapter, her character turned out to be quite weak and sentimental, so the tragic* ending is perhaps unsurprising.

Pros of the book. Years after reading it I still get angry with this book for how the complete sexist foulness of the husband was unacknowledged. So, it is at least memorable. In fact, something reminded me of how awful it was today and I decided I needed to exorcise it with a good rant.

Cons. Everything else about it.

*obviously the author thought it was happy. puke. ...more
4

Oct 01, 2017

I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected! I have not read Barbara Delinsky in years. Downloaded this to my Kindle for a trip, expecting a lighter read. These characters are well developed; the plot conflicts are real and contemporary. This was a 3.5 for me, but rounded up for GR. I enjoyed this book so much more than I expected! I have not read Barbara Delinsky in years. Downloaded this to my Kindle for a trip, expecting a lighter read. These characters are well developed; the plot conflicts are real and contemporary. This was a 3.5 ⭐️ for me, but rounded up for GR. ...more
1

Jul 05, 2018

I usually love books by Barbara Delinsky but this one didn't do it for me. I think it was because I really disliked the main character and found her to be self-centered and whiny. All of us should be able to be selfish sometime in our lives and find our happiness, but she just kept abusing people, places and things even when she was supposedly doing good at the refuge or helping another character. I also found the coyote connection to be utterly ridiculous...
3

Sep 21, 2017

3.5 i liked this book, i think the added story of Lee and the hostage stuff was too much though... there was enough story with Emily and James and her escaping a life she was unhappy with to try and figure herself out.
4

Aug 10, 2018

I loved this book. It was about real, timely issues of taking the right path in life. If you find it doesn’t fit anymore, turn around and reevaluate. Choose a path that will bring you happiness and fulfillment.
4

Jul 15, 2011

What if you looked around one day at the accouterments of the "perfect life" you were leading, and literally couldn't breathe? What if the dreams you had and the people you love feel more like "gadgets" in your world, until you scarcely notice them? What if you feel invisible?

Successful New York lawyer Emily Aulenbach experiences all of these feelings one Friday, and acting on impulse, she leaves her office, goes home long enough to grab a few possessions, and takes off. Where will she go? Her What if you looked around one day at the accouterments of the "perfect life" you were leading, and literally couldn't breathe? What if the dreams you had and the people you love feel more like "gadgets" in your world, until you scarcely notice them? What if you feel invisible?

Successful New York lawyer Emily Aulenbach experiences all of these feelings one Friday, and acting on impulse, she leaves her office, goes home long enough to grab a few possessions, and takes off. Where will she go? Her path suddenly leads her to a place she left ten years before—Bell Valley, a small New Hampshire town that is a place of quiet peace. Surrounded by woods that seemingly beckon, along with a coyote's call, Emily believes she can find her center again here.

Old friends are there, as well as those she hurt when she left abruptly years before. But soon she is caught up in finding that inner core that once directed her, and deciding how to rearrange the pieces of her life.

But she just can't disappear. She still has to deal with those she left behind in New York, like the husband she loves. He, too, is immersed in that techno world and he is hurt by her actions. Will the two of them reconnect? Will they rediscover what drew them to one another? And will something that happens in Bell Valley help them do just that?

Yes, the themes feel familiar, but with the twist of texting instead of talking and computers instead of face time, we get to watch this couple as they weed through the extraneous layers of their lives to find out what they want. A new and exciting case in Bell Valley reminds them of what they once loved and helps them put the pieces together to form a new version of their lives.

I enjoyed "Escape" from the beginning to the end. In some ways, the character of Emily felt too predictable in the way she dealt with an old love and how quickly she found her center in this town. But the book earned four stars from me.
...more

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