ISBN# : 978-0525427506
Page Count: 320
Copyright: January 22, 2015
(Taken from Amazon)
On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.
Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Rebecca Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna Tartt.
One of the definitions I found on Merriam-Webster's website for unbecoming is "not according with the standards appropriate to one's position or condition of life." I would say this novel, specifically the character Grace, exemplifies this definition over and over again.
Early on in life Grace understood that she was different, that she wasn't quite right emotionally. She didn't know how to be loved or show love. She knew that there was something bad in her and she wasn't sure how to get rid of it. Grace's family wasn't rich so when one of rich boys showed an interest in Grace she immediately became unbecoming.
Grace became everything Riley wanted her to be. During her transition, she spent more and more time with his family, integrating herself into their home and hearts. Mrs. Graham even began to think of Grace as her daughter and even made one of the rooms in their house Grace's bedroom.
After high school, Grace went to college in New York where she began to change again. She adapted herself to how the snobby girls dressed, acted, talked, etc. One incident in New York affected Grace so badly that she went back home to Tennessee and to Riley ... the last place where Grace thought she knew who she was.
It's while Grace is back home that a plan enters her mind. This plan will change her life forever, but it won't change who Grace is. She will always be someone who is inherently a bad apple.
I have mixed emotions concerning this novel. It was well-written in character portrayal and story development. There were times, though, where the subtleties of the conversations sometimes left me confused. Once I finished the novel, I could replay some conversations in my mind and realize where the subtleties lay. They weren't so obvious during my reading, unfortunately. I think they may have been blatantly obvious to the author while she wrote this novel but I have yet to develop my telepathy skills and, therefore, was left clueless a few times.
Overall, the novel is interesting enough for me to tell you that you should give it a go. I would've liked to see a slightly different ending. Perhaps something involving karma finally biting Grace in the behind.
*A hardcopy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.