Thursday, May 15, 2014

You Should Have Known; Jean Hanff Korelitz

You Should Have Known; Jean Hanff Korelitz
Grand Central Publishing - 2014

Grace Reinhart Sachs is a therapist who prides herself in her ability to read people. She's written a book which is about to be published entitled, “You Should Have Known: Why Women Fail to Hear What the Men in Their Lives are Telling Them.” It's a book that suggests individuals have the power to avoid relationship problems later on, by noticing subtle and sometimes obvious early warning signs. She is quick to point out that men don't suddenly become liars and cheats or gamblers and substance abusers, the signs are there early on if you look for them. Further pointing out, if you pick the wrong person, fixing your marriage is pretty much hopeless.

Grace believes she knows what she preaches and writes, and in her mind she is living the perfect life. She’s has a beautiful home, a successful career as a couple's therapist, a gifted 12 year-old son, Henry, who attends the sames private school in Manhattan that she attended, and her husband, Jonathan, is a respected pediatric oncologist.

Grace's job allows her to spend time volunteering at her son's elite school and serving on various committees. Through her the reader is drawn into the world of the snobby, elite. Grace comes across at times as being much like the other snobs she introduces us to, but she is in for a big surprise and about to be knocked off her high horse.

When the mother of a scholarship student at her son's school is murdered, homicide detectives show up at Grace's door.  They begin questions about her husband Jonathan, and when she tries to contact him, she is unsuccessful. She has no idea where he is, and little by the trail of deception he's created is revealed.

The novel came off as more of a psychological thriller and character study than anything else.  It was good with some plot twists and suspense, but it could have been much better if it was shortened. There was just too much focus on the lives, lifestyles of other people -- some nameless. The reader feels the tension building early on even though Grace remain oblivious. I thought it was interesting how the reader only hears about Jonathan and how busy and important he is. He seems to get a pass from any father/husband responsibilities and for not answering his phone or texts, because he is supposedly helping others who need him more.

As for Grace and the way things played out, I had little sympathy for her, and I couldn't understand how she didn't suspect something was off.  As for her new book, it'll still be published, but she'll have to make a minor change before that happens.

The audio version was read by Christina Delaine who did a good job.

Rating - 3.5/5 stars
(audiobook and review copy)

10 comments:

  1. It's too bad it was too long because the overall premise sounds unique and intriguing. Ah, well.

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  2. I keep reading such mixed reviews of this, but like Natalie says, the premise sure sounds good!

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  3. It sounds rather predictable.

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  4. This sounds like such a good premise for a book that I want to read it. I love character studies but will bear in mind your comments about the length of the book.

    http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com

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  5. I've been see in this book around a lot - thanks for an honest review! I, too, find it hard to get into books when there are no sympathetic or likable characters (Cutting Teeth was recent one for me).

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  6. I have this one on Sparky...now I want to read it, if for no other reason than to "enjoy" the comeuppance of the snobby therapist...LOL.

    There is nothing worse than a know-it-all, especially one that is oblivious.

    Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Ooo, she should have known! I like psychological thrillers, so maybe I'll give it a try.

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  8. Hmmm...I think I will pass, but I find the title and premise so alluring!

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  9. If I had to read too much about the lives of people who don't matter to the story I think that I'd be disapponted too. THe idea does sound intersting though.

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  10. Hrm... I'm on the fence with this one. I think the snobbery would really grate on my nerves!

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