Saturday, March 19, 2022

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Escaping Pretense by Deborah Jean Miller


What if you could disappear forever?

Pretense Abdicator is whip-smart, socially awkward and angry. When passed over for a well-deserved promotion at the prestigious financial firm of Crawford Spectrum, she hatches a get-even plan. Embezzle money from her wealthiest clients, assume a new identity, and flee the country.

With over $2 million stashed in an offshore bank account under an alias, Pretense is certain she has pulled off the perfect crime. Only one more money transfer and she is home free. But on September 11, 2001, she is summoned to her manager's office on the eighty-ninth floor of the World Trade Center. As her boss and the FBI are confronting her with ironclad evidence of embezzlement, a passenger plane hits the North Tower and Pretense takes that opportunity to make a run for it.

This is a story about a lonely woman’s desperate attempt to find worth in a world filled with disappointment and pain.

From the author of The Essence of Shade, this page-turning, heist crime thriller will keep the reader cheering for the protagonist until the very end.

Momma Says: 5 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

According to the blurb, Escaping Pretense is a heist crime thriller, but I'm inclined to disagree with that. I'd say it's more contemporary or women's fiction. It certainly has its share of drama. That said, I don't particularly care about the genre so much as the content, and this one's content makes it a thoroughly compelling read.
Depending on the story, I don't always need to like the main character to like the book, and to be honest, I wasn't sure which way this one was gonna go in the beginning. I did not like Pretense at all for quite a way into this one. I felt like she may have had a bad start in life, but she had overcome it to find success. Then, we find out exactly what her life was like as she was growing up, and then she started to grow as a person, and my opinion started to change.
Other than a couple of unfortunate names that had me rolling my eyes a few times, this whole book held me in its grip. In my opinion, Deborah Jean Miller is a gifted storyteller, and she has a talent I don't see as often as I'd like. She's taken a character who isn't a good person, one who isn't even a remotely nice person unless it suits her purposes, and shown some tremendous personal growth, and she's made it feel real. Yes, it's a little farfetched at times, but when you're in the midst of it, the story doesn't feel that way. By the time I got to the last quarter or so of the book, I was team Pretense all the way, and I genuinely wanted her to find that happiness she'd been so long without.
I feel like I need to explain something here - there were so many things about this book that led me to rate it so highly, but the thing that convinced me was the writing. Even when I didn't like Pretense and felt like she needed a great big attitude adjustment, I couldn't just set this one aside. I mentioned the word compelling earlier, and it's really the most accurate word to describe this whole story. I just felt like I had to know what would happen next and how things would all play out. 

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