Thursday, 19 April 2012

Books Read: Barbara Delinsky - Escape

Source - Received from publisher to review

Have you ever wanted to escape from it all  Where would you go?  Who would you turn to?

One Friday morning, Emily suddenly realises that somewhere in life she has chosen the wrong path.   She needs to escape; from a job that is suffocating her and a personal life that isn't making her happy.  These days she barely sees her husband James and their attempts to start a family have proven unsuccessful.  

Realising the fruitlessness and misery of the life she has created for herself, Emily walks out of her office, turns her phone off, packs a bag and leaves New York.  She doesn't even tell James that she's leaving.  

But when a new path leads back to her past, and an old lover, a whole new set of problems arise.  As Emily begins to carve out a new life, where does that leave everything and everyone she left behind?

Whilst at work one morning Emily finally snaps and walks out... on her job and her husband.  She can no longer cope with the long stressful hours and dis-satisfaction of her job and her failure to conceive the baby she longs for.

She goes home, packs a bag, switches off her phone and leaves a note for her husband James to say that she's going away for a few days.  She initially starts driving unsure of where she will finally end up but all she knows is that she needs to get out of New York. When her car breaks down in Bell Valley she realises that it's fate that has brought her back here, hometown of her college roommate Vicky.

It was in Bell Valley that she had first fell in love with Jude, Vicky's brother, 10 years previous who then broke her heart when he dumped her for someone else but it was also here where she had a wonderful summer working at the town's animal refuge.

Although she is welcomed with open arms by Vicky, not everyone is happy that she has returned as Amelia, Jude's mother, thinks Emily is the reason that Jude left town and has never returned. Emily, however, knows that Jude is on his way home at the end of the month as he still sends her letters every now and then but she's planning to have left by the time he gets here.  

She just needs a couple of days away from everyone, James included, to enable her to re-evaluate what she wants from her life.  But every time she switches on her Blackberry she finds messages from her boss Walter and James both getting increasingly angry by the lack of response from Emily.  She eventually calls them both, she doesn't tell James where she is but tries to explain why she needed to get away and asks her boss Walter for a leave of absence.  He advises that she needs to return within 4 weeks otherwise he'll have no option but to let her go.

After a few days of peace Emily begins to unwind and can start to breathe again but she's shocked to discover that Jude has returned earlier than planned and that James has tracked her down to Bell Valley.  James thinks that Jude is the real reason that Emily has returned to Bell Valley but she eventually re-assures him that he isn't.  She tries to explain to him how suffocated she was feeling living in the city but he loves the city life although he also feels pressured by his job... can they come to an agreeable compromise that will enable them both to live the lives they want?

I'm sure we've all felt like Emily at some stage in our pasts but how many of us have actually had the guts to pick up and leave, I know I haven't.  I could emphasise with her situation and knew that she had left for the right reasons but maybe had not gone about it in the right way.

I found this book really easy to get into and the characters and the storyline believable and spent many a late night reading as I didn't want to put the book down.  

I'd like to thank Sam at Constable Robinson for sending me a proof copy of this book to review.

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