Emily Aulenbach is 32, a lawyer married to a lawyer, living and working in Manhattan. An idealist, she had once dreamed of representing victims of corporate abuse, and signed on with a firm that promised this, but it hasn’t worked out. She spends her days in a cubicle, surrounded by lawyers in other cubicles, talking on the phone with people sickened by tainted bottled water. Her firm is being paid by the bottler to minimize claims.
Convinced that she is betraying her dreams, she has looked into changing firms, but no one is hiring. She wakes up each morning dreading her work.
And it isn’t only work. It’s her sister, her friends, even her husband James, with whom she doesn’t connect the way she used to. Her relationships are superficial and rushed. She connects to three things – her computer, her BlackBerry, and her watch.
One particularly difficult Friday, she realizes that her life is all wrong. Uncharacteristically acting on impulse, she leaves work early, goes home, packs her bag, and takes off. As she gropes toward the future, though, she finds herself going back – back to the small New Hampshire town where she had last been unequivocably happy and carefree. If she were to map out her life, this was the spot where she had made her first wrong turn.
Escape is the story of the dreams we have and the heart-breaking task of giving up the parts that don’t work, salvaging those that do, and creating new dreams for what lies ahead.