Review: Saving Grace by Jane Green (4/5)

Wednesday 24 September 2014
From the number one bestselling author of Tempting Fate and The Accidental Husband, comes Jane Green's stunning new novel about a shattered marriage and a devastating betrayal. 
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?

Having never read anything by Jane Green before the blurb of the this book left me wanting to read it. I am a male reader that reads a lot of chick lit, but usually the sort by Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk, having female friends helps me relate to the characters whereas Jane seems to write more Women's Fiction which I don't read a lot of as I don't tend to relate to the characters or indeed the world they inhabit, I'm much more a girl moves to New York/London and starts a crazy new life. All that said I got a vibe from the blurb that this novel could perhaps be a bit darker than Jane's previous and perhaps touch on psychological thriller aspects and it did - sort of! 

Jane has written a gripping story (albeit one that took almost a third of the book to get going) that will have wives thankful they are happily married and perhaps taking a closer look at their husband's secretaries. The story itself on paper doesn't sound all that original but the way it is told here makes it so. When the book opens we meet Grace who appears to be almost terrified of her husband, best selling novelist Ted who is in the middle of one of his mood swings which leads to her sneaking out of the house before returning in the hope he has calmed down. Straightaway your brain starts turning - why is he having these mood swings? Is it an abusive relationship? How did they meet? Jane takes us back showing how they met and built their life and we start to learn what makes the toe characters tick. 

From the blurb we know Ted takes on a new assistant Beth who wants Grace's life which she sees as perfect. Beth was the perfect psychopath and not somebody you would want attempting to get their claws into your husband. Her quest to take Grace's life simply knew no bounds and the lengths she went to were just shocking. A compulsive and highly readable storyline once this book gets going it really does. Grace is an inherently likeable character and definitely one you will root for throughout the book whilst detesting Beth. Perhaps Jane Green may be heading in a new direction following this book, I'd definitely like to see something a bit darker from her in the future as she's shown here that she is more than capable of it and as a best selling author she can definitely afford to take a few risks. This book comes highly recommended by me.

Thanks to the publisher for the NetGalley review copy.

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