Books Magazine

You Should Have Known – Jean Hanff Korelitz #20booksofsummer

By Cleopatralovesbooks @cleo_bannister

Book 11

Psychological Thriller 4*sPsychological Thriller
4*s

Grace Sachs, a marriage counselor has written a book to warn women to pay attention to the clues the men they meet give them. She loftily imagines that this book will change the lives of those women who read her book, far more than the most popular book on the self-help shelf labelled relationships. Grace’s book isn’t about keeping a man, it is about not choosing the wrong one. Written during her spare time from her work, the book has been bidded upon and Grace is appearing in magazines and been invited for a TV interview when one week, she isn’t able to get hold of her husband, Jonathan, a renowned pediatric oncologist.

As readers we don’t hear from Jonathan himself, all that we know about him is filtered through Grace’s eyes, and we know, because we’ve been told that she is an excellent judge of character. She needs to be, it’s her job to get to the root of the problem and point out to the warring couples in front of her that he told you that he didn’t respect women, or he showed you that he drank too much so there isn’t much point complaining five years down the road. In short Grace is a little bit full of herself.

Grace is busy, not only does she have her practice, she has a twelve-year-old son Henry, who she mollycoddles, a book to promote and a school fund-raising committee for the best private school in New York. She also has her weekly visits to her father and step-mother Eve, a woman who she’s never taken to and she certainly doesn’t like Eve’s two grown-up children. Having fallen out with her best friend soon after her wedding Grace and Jonathan don’t have an awful lot of friends and so when one week she isn’t sure exactly where Jonathan is when she can’t get hold of him, she doesn’t have anyone to lean on.

The book is quite a wordy one, but one of those books where the description of rooms, clothes and people do matter, we are being immersed in Grace’s life which is at times uncomfortable, because she does have fixed ideas and we all know that she’s going to get her comeuppance for being quite so judgemental about others!

When one of Grace’s fundraising committee members dies the community goes into overdrive from the moment the headmaster sends the first email hinting at a tragedy. The section where we watch the news spread through the parents is so accurate, if the subject matter wasn’t so serious it would be funny. The book scores highly at taking a look at a certain ‘type’ of parent, well mother, and whilst not actually parodying them, it comes close – again only funny while you forget that there really are people like this walking the earth, and you may well have met a local variation of them, worse still, you may have actually had to have a conversation with them.

Although the tension builds at a steady pace, this is by no means a thriller in the conventional sense. This is a book about a woman coming to terms with the fact that she ‘made a mistake’ and the resultant shame that she experiences because of that particularly because she stuck her head above the parapet and proclaimed that she knew best! Funnily enough I had a lot of sympathy for Grace, whilst not liking her particularly.

This book kept me interested, there were enough things to wonder about as Grace retraced her steps, and the decisions she’d made, during her life and if the end was a little too neatly sewn up, well that’s ok, sometimes we do want the character’s to be ok following a trauma, we can accept that in real-life scars would linger but hey this is fiction!

Published UK: 6 March 2014
Publisher: Faber & Faber
No of Pages: 448
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Amazon UK
Amazon US


You Should Have Known – Jean Hanff Korelitz #20booksofsummer

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Spicy Veggie Noodles Stir Fry

    Spicy Veggie Noodles Stir

    This week’s recipe:  a Spicy Veggie Noodles Stir Fry!   Alright, they’re not THAT spicy, but they are good and absolutely loaded with healthy veggies and chewy... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Chuck Underwood
    FOOD & DRINK, HEALTH, HEALTHY LIVING, LIFESTYLE, VEGETARIAN & VEGAN
  • NYFW 2018: What Will Be Trending Next Season

    After closely monitoring NYFW 2018 runway shows, the top trends for fall/winter 2018 have been narrowed down; lilac, crazy animal prints, puffy furs, plaids,... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   A Girl In La - Style Blog
    DIARIES, LIFESTYLE
  • 7 Ideas for Soothing Your Hyperactive Child

    Is your child hyperactive? Almost every other mother would respond in affirmative. Kids are always adventurous and full of energy, which keeps them on their toe... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Travelrasoi
    TRAVEL
  • Quick Mid-week Allotment Attack

    Quick Mid-week Allotment Attack

    Andrew usually gets home from work after dark and at the weekends, as you know, we are hiking and then recovering and doing house stuff. Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Chrryblossomtat2
    GARDENING, HOME
  • Friday’s Fab Find: Flutterby

    Friday’s Find: Flutterby

    Mascara is tricky. It's my second least favorite cosmetic (my first is liquid liner, NEVER AGAIN). I've heard so many conflicting ways on how to use mascara. Pu... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Bridgetteraes
    FASHION, LIFESTYLE
  • Four Chords and the Truth: Sylvia Tyson, Russell deCarle, Samantha Martin, Don...

    Four Chords Truth: Sylvia Tyson, Russell deCarle, Samantha Martin, Amero Friends

    Some nights you just can't prepare for. Thursday night in Toronto at The Dakota Tavern was one of those nights, as Four Chords and the Truth took the... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Phjoshua
    LIFESTYLE, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Amphibians, Chameleons, and Cross Cultural Kids

    Amphibians, Chameleons, Cross Cultural Kids

    "But those people who are fishes out of water were often the most vibrant ones in the room. I've begun to recognize a social type, the Amphibians - people who... Read more

    The 23 February 2018 by   Marilyngardner5
    RELIGION, SELF EXPRESSION

Magazines