Thursday, 2 April 2015

Review: Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

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.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 22nd 2015 by Viking
Genre: Fiction/Mystery/Thriller

Kristine's Thoughts:

*I won a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway and in return I will give my honest opinion.*

My first and strongest thought in regards to this book is that the synopsis was overly ambitious when it said that it echoes Alfred Hitchcock & Patricia Highsmith and that it is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl and Donna Tartt. In saying this, I think that readers will have high expectations that I'm not sure that this book will be able to fill.

This book began in the middle of the story and then went back to the beginning before returning to the end. It wasn't as confusing as it sounds and I enjoyed the way it was set up. It made me think that it was setting up for a doozy of a plot twist or that something exciting was going to happen. I kept waiting for it to happen or for that moment of shock, thinking of what was stated in the synopsis again, and that moment never came.

The concept of the story was a good one and there was nothing wrong with the actual writing but I found that it didn't really go anywhere. The story was a tiny bit long winded for the amount that actually occurred within the pages. A few times it started to lose my interest and bordered on boring. Again, I was waiting for the big game changer that just wasn't there.

I didn't find myself routing for any of the characters in the story and could take or leave them. They weren't very likeable but I didn't hate them either. Where Grace and Alls (terrible name by the way) were concerned, I didn't really feel it and think it lacked some much needed development in order to make the story work.

In the end it was an average story that I think is going to be hurt by its synopsis. I fear people will expect a lot more than what they will get.

About the Author

Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming, a novel. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She lives in Michigan, where she is working on her second novel, Beta.  

Connect with Rebecca

1 comment:

  1. This one is totally new to me and It looks good. I love finding new books from blogs. :)

    Great Review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs