STARRED REVIEW
January 2015

The cost of keeping up a perfect facade

By Jane Green
Review by
Grace Chapman has a seemingly perfect life: She’s a lifestyle icon with a best-selling author husband, a loving daughter and a gorgeous home outside of New York City. A former cookbook editor, she now cooks legendary meals for the local women’s shelter and plans community fundraisers.
Share this Article:

Grace Chapman has a seemingly perfect life: She’s a lifestyle icon with a best-selling author husband, a loving daughter and a gorgeous home outside of New York City. A former cookbook editor, she now cooks legendary meals for the local women’s shelter and plans community fundraisers.

But look closer. Grace’s charming, handsome husband, Ted, has a vicious temper, a mammoth ego and a wandering eye. One moment a loving, attentive spouse, Ted can switch in an instant, yelling and blaming Grace for the slightest mishap. After growing up in the shadow of her mother’s mental illness, Grace cowers when her husband berates her. She worries that mental illness lurks in her own genes.

When their dependable, longtime assistant quits, Grace hires a new assistant to organize their lives—and keep Ted in check. Beth gets their lives in much-needed order, managing Ted’s temper as easily as she manages their calendar and quickly becoming indispensable to the couple.

But Grace can’t shake the feeling that there’s something amiss. As plain, timid, competent Beth begins transforming into a glamorous Grace clone, Grace wonders whether she is slowly being replaced in her own life, and she has to decide whether it is a life she wants to fight for.

With Saving Grace, Jane Green proves yet again that she is one of the most dependably compelling writers of women’s fiction around. Her characters are flawed but likable, her stories intriguing but believable. Even when she occasionally lapses into lazy prose (“her heart breaks open into a smile”), Green consistently delivers compassionate, relatable stories about the issues facing contemporary women. Grace is a vintage Green character: all-too-human and stronger than she thinks.

 

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Saving Grace

Saving Grace

By Jane Green
St. Martin's
ISBN 9781250047335

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.