Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Book Review - Saving Grace by Jane Green

Saving Grace
Saving Grace by Jane Green
Published: 25th September 2014
Publisher: Pan
Pages: 400
Available in: Kindle and Hardcover
Grace Chapman has an enviable set-up, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York state.

Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel sidelined in her home - and her marriage - by this ambitious younger woman.

Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than there first appears?

I have read almost everything that Jane Green has written and have seen her style develop from basic love triangles to those with much deeper issues such as infertility and cancer, this goes in a slightly different direction and is verging on a psychological thriller type plot.  Ted’s new assistant Beth is determined that she will ruin Grace and she seems to have no limits to the measures she will take to ensure she succeeds.  Initially Beth doesn’t appear to be a threat to Grace as she seemed mousey and timid but gradually an incredibly disturbing character emerges which leaves Grace heading for disaster.

Initially I wasn’t convinced I was going to enjoy this book as there is a lot of scene setting and nothing much happens for the first third of the book and then it hits you.  So if you start reading and are not sure please keep going as the plot when it gets going is very gripping.  I also wasn’t too sure about Grace as a character initially as all she seems to do is spend her time making everyone around her happy which did seem to make her vulnerable and insecure making it easy for Beth to take over, I was glad when she finally got some balls and decided what she wanted.

I was left with a couple of issues which I felt were not addressed in the book, firstly why didn’t Grace get a second opinion when in her heart she knew the doctor was wrong and secondly what on earth happened to Beth to cause Beth to be the way she was?

This book is written in the third person from just Grace’s perspective. Personally I think it would have worked better been written in the first person then we would have gained more insight into how Grace was coping with her life if we knew her actual thoughts and feelings.  Also I would have liked some of the story to be told from Beth’s perspective so we could understand what was driving her behaviour.

There are recipes at the end of each chapter which I just found irritating, especially when the story was unfolding; I think these would have been much better in a section at the end of the book. 

After the slow start I did really enjoy this book and I’m sure many fans of Jane Green will love it. I rate this book 4/5 as I had a few issues with it, but it was still a gripping and enjoyable read which I would recommend to both fans and new readers.

Thank you to NetGalley and Pan for sending me an arc copy to read.

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