Deborah K. Jensen
Beaver's Pond Press (2012)
Reviewed by Leslie Granier for Reader Views (4/13)
Kim Thompson is newly divorced after a 20 year marriage. She is ready to get away not only from the unpleasant memories but also from the dreary winter of North Carolina. She decides to spend the holidays with her parents in their retirement village in southern Texas. While in route, she recalls memories of her teenage years she spent in Texas with a boy with whom she had a crush. This propels her to research the circumstances surrounding his disappearance many years ago. While in Texas, Kim meets Camilo, a man nearly half her age, who quickly becomes interested in pursuing a relationship with her despite her reluctance on several fronts. As they grow closer, secrets begin to rise to the surface, leaving them uncertain of what their futures may entail.
Much of "Beyond Escape" focuses on relationships. Kim's relationship with her parents as an adult living under their roof for a month plays a prominent role in the beginning. Her failed relationship with her ex-husband and her budding one with Camilo are a means of informing the reader of Kim's loneliness, frustration, and insecurity. Also woven into the plot is Connie, Kim's coworker, who has completely opposite ideas about relationships. She acts as a foil to Kim's character in that she is not interested in long term commitments. She would rather seize the day and enjoy life in the moment.
Overall "Beyond Escape" is a well-written book with a carefully crafted plot. Although there are some slow moments (at times I felt as if I was reading a wine list in a restaurant), the author does a fine job of introducing juicy and suspenseful tidbits of information at the perfect times. There are numerous surprises sprinkled throughout the story that truly piqued my interest. However, the book ends rather abruptly leaving many unresolved situations. I am hoping there will be a sequel to tie up the loose ends.
The target audience for this book is adult females between the ages of 30 and 55. They will relate well with Kim as she works through both personal and family issues while trying to build a new life for herself.