Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Runaway Wife by Elizabeth Birkelund

Jim Olsen has always done what was expected of him.  He studied hard in college, graduated and got a great job with a great salary.  He got engaged to a woman he loved.  Everything was going along smoothly when the bottom fell out.  His company unexpectedly fired him.  His fiance decided perhaps they weren't a great match after all and left him.

Jim gets another job but won't start for a while.  His friend is hiking in the Swiss Alps and asks him to join him.  Since Jim hasn't taken a vacation in years since his high-pressure job didn't allow for much time off, he decides to go.  The friends hike to a resort.  That evening, while in the bar, they see three beautiful women who seem interested in them.  Talking to the women, they discover that they are sisters and on a mission.

Their mother has left their father and is now out of touch with the entire family and they are worried about her.  The sisters have to leave and won't have time to look for her.  They don't want to get the authorities involved since their father is in politics and actually running for the Presidency of France.  Could the two men look for her as they hike to their next destination?

Jim and his friend agree but his friend only has one day left before he has to return home.  Since Jim doesn't start his new job for another week, he agrees to take on the project.  Against all odds, he finds the mother, Calliope, and is surprised to find a vibrant, skillful women who doesn't consider herself lost at all.  She just wants to get away from her husband and the life she was leading before.  Should Jim try to talk her into returning?

Birkelund has written a story about what is really important in our lives.  Should we go along to get along or should we carve out a life that satisfies our inner longings even if it isn't what others approve of?  She explores the meaning of love and how much of ourselves we should give up to be in a relationship.  This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.

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