Monday, September 12, 2011

Susan McBride

Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress and The Cougar Club, selected by Target Stores as a Bookmarked Breakout Title and named a Midwest Connections Pick by the Midwest Booksellers Association. The Cougar Club also made More Magazine’s list of “February Books We’re Buzzing About.”

Late last month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I recently devoured Barbara Delinsky’s latest novel, Escape, about Emily, a young lawyer in New York City, who realizes one day that her life’s become the proverbial rat race. She’s taking calls from people sickened by the client her firm is representing, and she’s sickened herself by having to put price tags on human suffering. Her husband’s devoted his days (and nights) to another Manhattan law firm, doing whatever it takes to make partner and putting the health of their relationship at risk. So one day, Emily picks up and leaves, driving away from the city and to a small town a few hours apart where she spent a memorable summer long ago. She doesn’t even tell James where she is, not for a few days, until she can shed the dust of the frantic life she left behind and just breathe again.

In the process of discovering what Emily really wants for herself—and her marriage to James—she confronts pieces of her past and begins to understand what it means to find peace; and what it feels like to sacrifice all you’ve known in order to achieve true fulfillment.

I’ve seen some very critical reviews of Escape, calling Emily’s actions “irresponsible” and “selfish.” But when I think of how technology and the fast-pace of our society have affected both the quality of relationships and the ability to form a sense of self (and sense of calm!), I honestly understand why Emily had to leave. It’s hard to say, “I can’t live this life any more, and I need to find something better.” Few people have the guts to do it. So I actually cheered Emily on as she dumped her unhappiness in order to discover her true passions. Escape was a lovely summer escape for me (since I didn’t get a real vacation!).
Visit Susan McBride's website.

--Marshal Zeringue