Sunday, November 23, 2014

Review: Saving Grace by Jane Green

I tend to like novels by Jane Green. Most chick-lit is uncomplicated and full of women who fawn over men they think are usually out of their league. These women tend to be unassuming, befuddled, insecure, and annoying. Although Green's novels are always well-written and entertaining, her main heroine, Grace Chapman, holds at least a few of those qualities.

Grace Chapman has the picture perfect life. She's married to a successful author, has a beautiful, talented daughter, and a knack for creating the perfect dish. The only problem is that these things are all not true. Her life isn't as perfect as it may seem. In fact her life isn't as perfect as she would even like to think it is.

From the beginning, there is tension on every page. As the narrator describes Ted Chapman, Grace's husband, it's almost certain where the pages will lead in this book. Instead, Green totally changes the course and doesn't go with such a predictable plot, and brings us instead more of a cautionary tale. Actually, two cautionary tales. 

Without giving too much away, Grace and Ted are in need of a personal assistant when Beth falls into their laps. She's perfect. Beth is able to help Grace with her household duties, as well as calm the storm that is Ted. But... there's just something about her Grace can't quite put her finger on. Something that just isn't right. 

Before long Grace is questioning everything about her life, her husband, and this Godsend. This is when the second cautionary tale comes in to play. It's in reference to the American need to label all things and all people.

Because I must have a gripe with almost every novel, I think what was most annoying about this novel was Grace. I know that most women in these novels are supposed to be a little annoying. They ignore signs that any blind person can see. They make dumb moves and almost always base their worth on a men. Grace is no different. She's absolutely draining because she's so weak. I guess that's the point. No one can save us but ourselves. 

Saving Grace is an interesting novel that will leave readers more aware of who they welcome into their lives and homes and running from their own truths. Jane Green always manages to reel me in with her writing and absolute need to finish the story. I am compelled to see it to the end no matter how much I like or dislike her characters. One other plus about this book is that it has recipes. Recipes are huge for a lot of women... so please, by all means, this book is for you.   ***

Copy provided by St. Martin's Press via netgalley

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