Originally published: 1997 (This edition 2017)
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Set in: Boulder, Colorado / Annapolis, Maryland
Genre: Domestic Fiction
Page count: 464
Reading dates: 6-9 February 2018
I’m a huge Diane Chamberlain fan – I’ve read 16 out of 25 of her novels. I love the way she writes relationships and moral dilemmas between families, partners and friends. Her novels usually hold a secret or two, which are revealed as the story progresses.
The Escape Artist was first written in 1997 and recently re-released to match her other books.
The story starts with Susanna Miller loosing custody of her baby son Tyler to her ex husband and his new wife. Instead of handing him over, she escapes Boulder, Colorado by dying her hair and leaving town on an early morning bus with her son, leaving behind her job, house and the man she loves. She ends up in Annapolis, Maryland and soon manages to find somewhere to live, work and even make friends and makes a good life for her and Tyler.
Of course, that’s not the end of the story and Susanna is living with a constant feeling of anxiety of being discovered. When she finds a file on a second hand computer she buys, seemingly listing victims of a spate of bombings in the area, she faces of the dilemma of wanting to tells the authorities before the next bombing happens but being worried the police will discover who she is and take Tyler away from her.
Chamberlain writes family situations and relationships well and I can well understand Susanna’s motivation for what she does. This wasn’t one of Chamberlain’s best books – it was quick to read as they often are but I felt some of the situations Susanna finds herself in are a bit contrived and I guessed the twist to the story (more-or-less) quite early on. It’s also a bit dated.
In summary, an enjoyable, easy read but Chamberlain has written better.
Diane Chamberlains website can be found here – http://dianechamberlain.com/ and if you want to dip in a try reading some of her books, maybe start with The Midwife’s Confession or The Silent Sister.