Ramsey Hootman's Reviews > Getaway

Getaway by Lisa Brackmann
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's review
Apr 30, 12

bookshelves: purgie-books, women-i-can-relate-to
Read from February 27 to April 30, 2012

Getaway is every international traveler's worst nightmare: inadvertently stepping into trouble in a country where you aren't familiar with the legal system and can't trust the local authorities.

Some (if not many) reviews of Getaway are going to accuse the protagonist of being "unsympathetic." What these reviews will actually mean is that the character of Michelle is not fulfilling the hysterical female stereotype. The reality is that some women are entirely capable of containing their emotional responses and acting in a rational, level-headed fashion when confronted with extreme circumstances. Brackmann has succeeded once again in crafting a fully three-dimensional female lead who is neither an emotional wreck nor a kick-ass man with boobs; Michelle is an otherwise average housewife who summons the inner strength to survive an impossible situation without succumbing to a victim mentality. In a word? Refreshing.

As was the case with her first book, Rock Paper Tiger, Brackmann's prose is terse and carefully crafted, excellent without drawing undue attention. Her descriptions are pitch-perfect, and every once in a while I would find myself stopping to admire a line that captured some little detail just perfectly (the smell of the garbage dump, for instance). I don't usually read for setting, so it's rare for me to say that this book absolutely put me on the spot, and I loved it. Be warned: the first few chapters will leave your mouth watering for a margarita.

It's hard not to compare Getaway to Brackmann's first book, Rock Paper Tiger, so... I will. Both books are excellent and I would recommend them without hesitation. Overall, RPT made it onto my list of "best books ever" (ie five star reviews) simply because I'm more drawn to the Chinese setting, and I enjoyed the broad scope of the plot. Getaway is more narrowly focused, set in just one or two locales and concerning a limited cast of characters. So although it earns four stars for my
personal preferences, I think Getaway is the more perfectly crafted narrative. The plot is tight, had me turning pages compulsively, and I felt like I was "clued in" at all the right moments. The characters are all very memorable, and one especially freaked me out in a very visceral way. And the ending? Perfection. Truly.

I loved Rock Paper Tiger, but Getaway has proven that Brackmann is not just a one-hit wonder. Her books are now on my official "automatic-buy" list.
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Reading Progress

03/12/2012 "Finished reading ARC, but waiting to post my review for the release date! :)"

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