Release Date: April 24, 2012
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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.
"Delinsky nails it in her trademark latest (after Not My Daughter), a captivating and moving story about a woman who's had enough of her life and wants a fresh start. Emily Aulenbach, a hardworking New York City lawyer married to another hardworking lawyer, graduated from law school an idealist, but now works on behalf of big, soulless corporations. Fed up, she walks out of the office one morning, packs a bag, and takes off for the small New Hampshire town where she'd spent a life-changing summer 10 years earlier, breaking contact with her best friend, Vicki Bell--now married and running an inn in the same town--when Vicki's brother, Jude, Emily's first big love, had dumped her. Emily runs to Vicki for sanctuary, and, wouldn't you know it, Jude reappears, somewhat complicating things as Emily figures out what to do with her life, career, and marriage to James, whom she truly loves. But when one of Vicki's employees ends up needing legal help, it's the catalyst for everything to click into place. Delinsky keeps the story moving with some nice twists on a familiar plot, rich characterizations, and real-feeling dilemmas that will keep readers hooked."
Have you ever woken up in a cold sweat, thinking that you've taken a wrong turn and are stuck in a life you don't want? Did you ever consider hitting the brakes, backing up, and heading elsewhere?
How about disappearing - leaving family, friends, even a spouse - ditching everything you've known and starting over again. Reinventing yourself. Rediscovering yourself. Maybe, just maybe returning to an old lover. Have you ever dreamed about this?
No. Me, neither. No dream, no plan.
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The concept for Escape came to me within hours of finishing the writing of Not My Daughter. That one had been a long haul, with lots of wonderful personal interruptions, like the wedding of my son, but I had been under tremendous work stress and was exhausted. All I wanted at that moment was to get away from my computer, turn off my BlackBerry, and … and escape from anything that required deep thought.
That was in June 2009. And I did chill out for much of the summer, while I considered one story idea after another for my next book. But I kept coming back to the theme of our busy, tech-dominated lives and the fantasy of escape. In September, I posted a note on my Facebook page, asking readers where they would go if they were to pick up one day and just disappear – and the response was overwhelming, both in the number of notes and their enthusiasm. Apparently, I was not the only one fantasizing about running away. How could I not write a book about this?
BTW, if you’re one of those readers who turn to the Acknowledgment page first, you’ve just read it! In Escape, I acknowledge my readers, who were the single most important influence in the writing of this book.
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