Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself, devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son, Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice. Grace is also the author of the forthcoming You Should Have Known, a book in which she castigates women for not valuing their intuition and calls upon them to pay attention to their first impressions of men.
But weeks before the book is published, a chasm opens in her own life: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for her child and herself.
*Includes Reading Group Guide*
This excellent literary mystery by the author of 2009 s Admission unfolds with authentic detail in a rarified contemporary Manhattan. Therapist Grace Reinhart Sachs is about to embark on a publicity blitz to promote her buzzed-about book on why relationships fail, You Should Have Known. In the meantime, she cares for her 12-year-old son, Henry, who attends the same private school she went to as a child. Grace also treasures her loving relationship with her longtime husband Jonathan, a pediatric cancer doctor at a prestigious hospital. The novel s first third offers readers an authoritative glimpse into the busy-but-leisurely lives of private-school moms. Grace does her best to get along with the school s vapid and catty fundraising committee. She eventually learns that one of the mothers outside her social strata, Malaga Alves, was found murdered in her apartment by her young son. Grace, already tense and sad from these events, becomes more and more anxious as Jonathan, at a medical conference in the Midwest, proves unreachable over several days. The author deftly places the reader in Grace s shoes by exploring her isolation, unease, and contempt for the rumor mill. The plot borders on hyperbole when it comes to upending what we know about one character, but that doesn t take much away from this intriguing and beautiful book.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I am glad I stayed with the book to the end, but there was way too much emphasis on pulling away from the narrative to adjacent subjects. I know it was her way of getting the reader to understand her life, but it was frustrating. It could have been an exciting thriller.
I'm not even sure why I bothered with this book after page 100 or so. Kept thinking it would get better. It didn't, it just kept repeating itself with more boring commentary on relationships. I was hopeful about half way thru when the first mention of a murder came up... Maybe? Something interesting? Nope just more of the same self indulgent reflections on nothing. Don't bother. Would love to get the time back that I spent on this book. I purchased it based on a good People magazine review. Was the reviewer on meds when they read the book? Or maybe off their meds. Sorry for the harsh review but this book was just plain boring. Couldn't care less about the characters at all.
Would have given it five stars...
...if the author had mastered the art of brevity. She just kept going on and on, endless descriptions about the most boring and remotely adjacent subjects. Could have cut this book in half.