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on February 14, 2012
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Wouldn't you just love to escape the everyday and run as far as you can with little to no consequences? I know I would.

Escape for me was a book of fantasies... looking towards to 'what-ifs' and the 'shoulda, coulda, woulda's. While I really enjoyed the characters and the setting of the book, I found the whole premise to be to unbelievable. It just doesn't seem possible, in our present world, that you can literally 'escape' the everyday and not have a single issue as a result; not with your job, your marriage or your finances.

Putting aside the unrealistic, I found myself living through Emily. I could hear the static in her head and, through Barbara Delinsky's desciption, could feel her stress lessening as she escaped to Bell Valley. The story was a perfect mix of 'then and now', never really leaving the present to explain the past but instead, giving you just enough information to make the story work. You understand why Emily chose Bell Valley and what she needed to accomplish in order to return to the 'real world'.

A pleasant surprise to this book was the hidden mystery that Emily stumbles upon when she meets Lee, the baker at the bed and breakfast she is staying at. As the mystery develops, the book really becomes a page-turner, and Emily's future seems to become mapped out right before her eyes.

Overall, a good book with a story that anyone can relate to.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 4, 2011
Thirty-two-year-old Emily Aulenbach was a lawyer living in Gramercy Park, New York with her husband, James, who is also a lawyer. They don't have pets or kids because they're trying to work to put in their hours now so they can eventually take things a bit easier later. Emily was tired of her job and tired of her life so she ups and leaves work one morning within an hour of arriving. Once home, she packs a bag, hops in the car and begins driving. She has no idea where she is headed as long as it is away from New York and the busyness that is her life there.

Emily spent a couple of nights in some small town motels and tried to think "where" she wanted/needed to go and then it struck her. If she wanted to figure out who she was, then she needed to "... go back to the place that had set me on this course" and it wasn't New York. It was "Bell Valley", nestled in a valley in the state of New Hampshire. It had been ten years since Emily had been there and her last memory of the place was "...breaking up with Jude," her first love. As Emily thought of Jude, she began to cry and wondered if she was crazy for coming?

Everyone is worried: James, her boss, her Mom, her Dad, friends, co-workers and anyone else who has also known the same-routine Emily. This was totally out-of-character for her, but she really needs to find out who she is and what it is that she really wants.

Just prior to her arrival in Bell Valley, Emily received a letter from Jude telling her that he is returning to Bell Valley as well. Will Emily be able to resist her first deep love, will she return to James or divorce him, and what about her well-paid lawyers' job?

As painful as it feels to be back in Bell Valley, Emily knows that if she is ever to make her life work, then she has no choice but to start here where it all began.
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