By Gwendolen Gross
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805068344, 304pp.)
Publication Date: June 2002
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A young woman resisting the demands of her dependent family seeks escape in an increasingly dangerous outdoor adventure.
When Hannah Blue joins the Adventurer's Club, she pictures campfires and star-filled nights. And she imagines a temporary respite from the ever-present shadow of her parents' divorce, her siblings' inability to cope in the real world without her vigilance, and her boyfriend, Ben, who, it seems, is looking for a commitment. Most of all, she needs a break from the irresistible pull of her father, whose unpredictable moods and imaginary health scares have always kept him at the center of the family universe.
But when her father's latest illness turns out to be real, Hannah finds herself growing addicted to the freedom she finds in the silty caves deep beneath the sunlit woods, on the crevasses accessible only with crampons and ice axes. It's as if she feels more herself when she's outside -- until she realizes that the people she keeps leaving may not always wait for her to come back.
Featuring an appealing, spirited heroine and vivid outdoor settings, Getting Out surpasses the stylistic and storytelling promise displayed in Gwendolen Gross's first novel, Field Guide, and yields a fresh look at the high stakes of love's many expectations.
Gwendolen Gross received an M. F. A. in poetry and fiction at Sarah Lawrence College. She is the author of the novels Field Guide and Getting Out. She lives in northern New Jersey.
"The adventure story is alive and well and not entirely monopolized by Jon Krakauer . . ."