Margin Notes: You Should Have Known

You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz
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 You Should Have Known, a book in which she castigates women for not valuing their intuition and calls upon them to examine their first impressions of men for signs of serious trouble later on. 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.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars, THIS HAS SPOILERS!

This started slowly for me, from the title I knew that something bad was going to happen with the husband--built in hubris, right? But once I got about 30% of the way into the book, when [SPOILERS] Malaga dies, I couldn't wait to figure out what happened. The plot picked right up, the characters started to become a little more alive to me, and I was just so interested. After putting it down last night I realized that this is the same author as Admission, which I really liked, so I'm not surprised my tune changed as the book went on. There are some things I'd change about this book if I were the editor--I'd let the audience in a little earlier, I'd have the conversation with Henry a little earlier, and I'd get to the point a bit faster. So much time was spent creating the uber rich world of Manhattan private school politics, I felt like that didn't contribute to the forward motion of the plot... Now, if the murder happened that night, or if we saw more of Grace getting snubbed by the other parents at Rearden once things heated up... maybe that would have helped? Maybe get inside the Grace's head a little more for her conversation with Sylvia, her dad, her inlaws... I thought she was kind of too glassy and self-pitying to get the sympathy I wanted to give her, and the ending was a little predictable once you knew what was going on. She wasn't likable, but I was still interested in her story, for some reason... I found the last 2/3rds of this book super readable, really intriguing, and a good read, I just wish emphasis was put on different parts of the plot instead. The writing itself was great, I should mention. Still, a great read and the faults I found are ones I'm thinking about after reading the book, not while I was enjoying it (well, enjoying the last 2/3rds of it)

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