STARRED REVIEW
January 22, 2015

A mesmerizing transformation

By Rebecca Scherm
Review by

“When you stopped trying to be one perfect person, you could be many.” A small-town Tennessee girl flourishes into a classic, yet never cliché, femme fatale in Rebecca Scherm’s provocative coming-of-age debut, Unbecoming.

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“When you stopped trying to be one perfect person, you could be many.” A small-town Tennessee girl flourishes into a classic, yet never cliché, femme fatale in Rebecca Scherm’s provocative coming-of-age debut, Unbecoming.

Grace had her siren song down to the perfect ringing notes: prim cardigans, sweet smiles and a melodic laugh capable of enticing anyone. This pristine exterior did well to hide her poor and neglected upbringing, and she fooled even herself—but throughout life and love Grace realized her hands have been too often taunted to touch and possess what is not hers. Perhaps some of us are just born bad, despite all efforts to dispel the wicked. When an art heist goes awry, Grace embraces her darker side and transforms to protect herself. At every new job and in every new city, she’s someone new, her identity stunningly ambiguous. She can never again be “Grace.”

With a well-researched plot and illuminating prose, Unbecoming delivers a character that does and does not evoke sympathy. Grace is slippery, cunning and complex as she evolves into a highbrow jewel bandit living off the grid. Just as she does for herself, Grace remakes the jewelry into something unrecognizable, taking stones from this one and replacing them from that one.

From the high-end art world of New York to the dusty basement of an antiques dealer in France, Unbecoming is an atmospheric adventure from start to finish.

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Unbecoming

Unbecoming

By Rebecca Scherm
Viking
ISBN 9780525427506

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