I’ve been reading Jane Green since Jemima J., and have really loved how her books have evolved over the years. Saving Grace is another step forward for this terrific author.
Grace and Ted Chapman have been married for twenty years, living an idyllic life in New York’s Hudson Valley. He is a hugely successful literary author, and she is part of his support system; his beautiful, gracious wife, hostess of lavish dinner parties, and board member of a local charity where she teaches women to cook.
But unbeknownst to outsiders looking in at this power couple, Ted has some anger issues, and Grace lives her life walking on eggshells. Ted has an assistant who really keeps it all together, so when she needs to retire, they need a replacement and fast.
Enter Beth, the perfect assistant. She moves in and takes over and Ted is happy; Grace is uneasy but can’t quite put her finger on the problem. Then odd things start to happen, and Grace finds her life spiraling out of control. Beth is playing devious, diabolical games with this family and as the story unfurls, one shocking disaster after another, there doesn’t seem to be a way out for any of them.
Until Grace takes off for home – England. There she slowly recovers from all the damage and learns how to put her life back together. But even with that success, there are still more shocking revelations ahead.
This book was completely unputdownable. The characters are well developed, real, and memorable. The suspense builds throughout, never letting up, until the dramatic ending. Green focuses on problems of mental illness and the prescription drug epidemic in this country, in a way that inspires thoughtful discussion. A great read for book groups for sure.
1/15 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
SAVING GRACE by Jane Green. St. Martin’s Press (December 30, 2014). ISBN 978-1250047335. 320p.