"The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie? Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn't work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows"--
Reviews with the most likes.
Not really a suspense novel due to how the story unfolds early on, but it's driven by backstory and a lot of forward action in the last half of the book. This book might be a bit trigger-y for some.
This is the first book being compared to Gone Girl that has lived up to the hype – not because they were anything alike in terms of writing style, plot, or book construction, but because it was the first book since Gone Girl that I couldn't put down. I sat down one evening and read the first half, only stopping because it was time for bed, and then I waited grumpily all day until I could sit down again and finish it. It was incredibly fast paced and, as fast a reader as I am, I was still irritated that I couldn't read it faster. That earns it the comparison, in my opinion.
This debut novel presents the perfect couple, Jack and Grace. They met one day in the park when Grace's younger sister Millie was dancing by herself and Jack stepped in to be her partner. After a whirlwind romance they were married and rushed off to an exotic honeymoon in Thailand. Upon their return Grace loses touch with her friends and quits her job, seemingly content to stay at home in the beautiful mansion that Jack bought for them and decorate, garden, and enjoy her new wonderful life. Soon, their friends notice that Grace and Jack are inseparable and Grace is now unavailable for lunch dates alone.
Do you see where this is going? Don't worry if you don't because Paris shows you before long. By the time that happens you won't care, though, because you'll want to know how the situation is going to resolve itself. The story flips back and forth between two timelines, the first following Grace as she meets Jack, falls in love, and accepts his proposal, and the second as she details what her life is like in the present. This moved the story ahead in a way that highlighted the frantic rush Grace was in. I also genuinely enjoyed the scenes with Millie, too. Her portrayal as a person with Down's Syndrome but still as smart as a whip, fun, and present in her sister's life felt very authentic.
The book was not without flaws. Without giving too much away, it did require a slightly higher-than-normal suspension of disbelief because one of the characters was SO extreme. The circumstances were so perfectly plotted that it seems impossible for anyone to be as well-coordinated as would be necessary to pull off their plans. There are a lot of trigger warnings in this book – nothing graphic but a lot of allusions to things – and they're scattered liberally throughout the book (not problematic but something to keep in mind before deciding to read it).
I recommend it but don't pick it up when you have places to be or things to do. You won't be able to put it down.
(Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.)
This book was a definite page turner, not because of a mystery needing to be solved but rather to see what would happen next and get closer to some sort of resolution. I was rooting for the main character, and the way the author goes between the past and present gives more understanding to the life she lives and punctuates her dismay and the urgency for resolution. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone but will leave it at that. This book was intriguing enough for me to want to read more by this author!