Monday, October 27, 2014

Julie's Review: Saving Grace

Author: Jane Green
Series: None
Publication Date: December 30, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Obtained: Vine
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Another solid Jane Green novel with the focus on mental illness
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue. To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late. Powerful and riveting, Saving Grace will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Grace on her harrowing journey to rock bottom and back.

Review: Here is where I say that we never know what goes on behind doors. Grace and Ted seem like the perfect couple. She's a wonderful wife and keeps things running so her very famous author husband can spend his days working on the next great novel. Saving Grace is a novel about what happens behind closed doors, how trying to figure out the next steps in your life aren't sure of what path to travel on.

As with all of Ms. Green's heroines, Grace is easy to like. She's pretty close to perfect but her life is anything but that. Her husband is a bit of an egotistical manic and not the easiest man to live with at all. Does he love Grace? I think he does but he's so used to how she runs their life, I'm not sure he'd know what to do without her. I don't think that counts as love but as dependence. Grace has her own fears which stem from her childhood.

Ted needs a new assistant since the one that has been with him for 20 years is leaving to take care of her ailing mother. So when Beth enters their lives at just the right time, Beth thanks her lucky stars. Almost immediately, Grace gets an uneasy feeling around her but pushes it aside because Beth has become instrumental in making their lives run easy.

Slowly Beth begins to metamorphose in front of Grace, just as her life begins to spin out of control. The question becomes is Grace truly going crazy or is she just going through some changes?

It isn't too hard as a reader to see where this one is going. As always Ms. Green has written the journey to be interesting even if you figure out part of the plot. Grace's plight is one that many women will be able to identify with. What happens when your body and your mind betray you? When you start to feel so not like yourself but you have no idea how to fix it? These are all very powerful questions.

I found the ending to be exactly what I wanted but with a nice little twist. Saving Grace is another Jane Green classic.


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