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Escape

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Escape

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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...
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...
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Description-
  • 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.


    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-
  • From the book


    Chapter 1

    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.

    It was just another Friday. I awoke at 6:10 to the blare of the radio, and hit the button to silence it. I didn't need talk of politics to knot up my stomach, when the thought of going to work did that all on its own. It didn't help that my husband, already long gone, texted me at 6:15, knowing I'd have my BlackBerry with me in the bathroom.

    Can't make dinner tonight. Sorry.


    I was stunned. The dinner in question, which had been on our calendar for weeks, involved senior partners at my firm. It was impor­tant that James be there with me.

    OMG,
    I typed. Why not?

    I received his reply seconds before stepping into the shower. Gotta work late, he said, and how could I argue? We were both lawyers, seven years out of law school. We had talked about working our tails off now to pay our dues, and I had been in total agreement at fi rst. Lately, though, we had seen little of each other, and it was getting worse. When I pointed this out to James, he got a helpless look in his eyes, like, What can I do?

    I tried to relax under the hot spray, but I kept arguing aloud that there were things we could do if we wanted to be together--that love should trump work--that we had to make changes before we had kids, or what was the point--that my coyote dreams had begun when I started getting letters from Jude Bell, and though I stuffed those letters under the bed and out of sight, a tiny part of me knew they were there.

    I had barely left the shower when my BlackBerry dinged again. No surprise. My boss, Walter Burbridge, always e-mailed at 6:30.

    Client wants an update,
    he wrote. Can you do it by ten?

    Here's a little background. I used to be an idealist. Starting law school, I had dreamed of defending innocent people against corpo­rate wrongdoing, and by graduation was itching to be involved in an honest-to-goodness class action lawsuit. Now I am. Only I'm the bad guy. The case on which I work involves a company that produces bottled water that was tainted enough to cause irreparable harm to a frightening number of people. The company has agreed to compen­sate the victims. My job is to determine how many, how sick, and how little we can get away with doling out, and I don't work alone. We are fifty lawyers, each with a cubicle, computer, and headset. I'm one of five supervisors, any of whom could have compiled an update, but because Walter likes women, he comes to me.

    I'm thirty-two, stand five-six, weigh one-twenty. I spin some­times, but mostly power walk and do yoga, so I'm in shape. My hair is auburn and long, my eyes brown, my skin clear.

    We gave them an update Monday,
    I typed with my thumbs.

    Get it to me by ten,
    he shot back.

    Could I refuse? Of course not. I was grateful to have a job at a time when many of my law school friends were wandering the streets looking for work. I was looking, too, but there was nothing to be had, which meant that arguing with the partner-in-charge of a job I did have was not a wise thing to do.

    Besides, I mused as I...

Reviews-
  • Publishers Weekly "Delinsky nails it in her trademark latest, a captivating and moving story about a woman who's had enough of her life and wants a fresh start. . . . [She] keeps the story moving with some nice twists on a familiar plot, rich characterizations, and real-feeling dilemmas that will keep readers hooked."
  • Bookreporter.com "Escape is another appealing page-turner from a writer who continues to earn her bestseller status."
  • People, 3½ stars "A topical tale that resonates with timeless emotion."
  • Publishers Weekly "Delinsky proves once again why she's a perennial best-seller with this thought-provoking tale . . . Timely, fresh, and true-to-life."
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.
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