ARC provided by NetGallery
Grace Chapman has the perfect life, 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 side-lined in her home – and her marriage – by this glamorous, ambitious younger woman.
Grace becomes increasingly distressed, as nobody around her believes that Beth could mean any threat.Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than first thought? Then an unexpected email from Beth’s former employer changes everything. What is Beth really capable of? Can Grace get her life back? And what if she realizes it’s no longer the life she wants?
(Contains some spoilers)
I’ve never read a Jane Green book before. I had heard good things about her books, but this one left me disappointed. Everything about this book seemed not quite right. The Characters. The plot. The random recipes at the end of chapters. The relationships. The medication…
Grace is married to a famous author, Ted, who’s ego surpasses his talent. Their whole relationship seems off from the beginning, with Grace praying that Ted is in a pleasant mood, spending most of her time tip-toeing around him and trying to do things to make him happy. He doesn’t seem to be violent, but my first thoughts were that she needed to get out of the relationship, because it didn’t sound healthy. But that’s not what the book is about…
When Grace isn’t trying to please her husband, she is a Cookbook editor and enjoys cooking and baking, especially for the homeless shelter. Which is why at the end of every chapter there is a recipe… which I would complete skip. The first time it happened it threw me off. After that, it just got frustrating, breaking the flow of the book.
Then there is the plot. Ted’s last wonderful, amazing, reliable PA has left due to family, and they need a replacement. Which is where plain Beth roles in, which is where Grace’s world comes crashing down. At first, I thought it was indeed Grace going insane and making things up, especially with the flash backs to her mother’s mental illness. However, it turns out it is all due to Beth being conniving. Because it makes total sense that someone that has know you for a few months can convince everyone, including Doctors and your husband, that you are going insane. It makes complete sense that a Doctor would prescribe tonnes of medication, for something you don’t have. The manipulation is just very hard to believe.
I also found the ending unbelievable and unsatisfying – which I won’t spoil for everyone.
If you don’t want anything too realistic, then I am sure you will enjoy this book more than I did.