Peace comes with a price in ‘Escape’

On the outside, New York lawyer Emily Aulenbach’s life looks perfect — good job, good marriage, all the comforts anyone could ask for. But the happiness just isn’t there.

Dissatisfied with the path her life has taken, Emily decides to take off. She leaves her office, goes home long enough to grab a few possessions, gets in her husband’s seldom-used car and drives away.

Emily knows she needs to find somewhere to regroup and rethink her life, though she has no destination in mind. Her path eventually leads her to a place she left 10 years before — Bell Valley, a small, quiet New Hampshire town.

In “Escape," Barbara Delinsky tells of one woman’s journey to find her true identity. Through the story the author examines how the hustle and bustle of today’s manic world can wear away at the inner psyche, skewing priorities.

Surrounded by woods and old friends, Emily believes she can find her center here. Soon she is caught up in discovering her inner voice and concentrates on 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, including her parents, her boss and most of all James, the husband she loves. He, too, is immersed in the fast-paced world of getting ahead, and he is understandably hurt by her rash actions.

And then there is Jude — an old love who hurt her deeply years ago. He has returned to Bell Valley to find his own bit of peace, and their reconnection could influence whether Emily can return to her former way of life with James.

“Escape” is a powerful novel with a powerful message — a story that includes twists, turns and tales of how seeking peace and contentment can sometimes come with a huge price. This is one of Delinsky’s best works.

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