Running Away (by Titia Sutherland)

'Running Away' is a pleasant light read by Titia Sutherland, no longer in print but available second-hand. It's about Laura, a mother in her early 40s who feels the need to take a few weeks' break from her family. She feels overwhelmed by her husband's constant caring, which seems to suck away her individuality. He refuses to believe that she needs time away by herself, thinking that what she really needs is time away with him, apart from their two teenage daughters. So Laura has to make her escape without telling her husband when and where she is going.

The novel then follows Laura's experiences in a village cottage in Cornwall, and that of her family as they manage without her for a time. Laura finds that it's impossible to be truly on her own - she's besieged with over-inquisitive neighbours, and finds herself befriending a struggling young man with serious health problems. Meanwhile her husband and their daughters go through crises of their own back home.

It's character-driven, well-paced and generally enjoyable. I wasn't sure where the plot was going, right up until the last chapter, but found the ending satisfactory and encouraging. All in all, a good read.

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