Book Review

‘Saving Grace’ by Jane Green

sg jgSTORY: Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon.

When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue. 

To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true.

This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity.  With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

REVIEW: Grace Chapman is a lovely woman, married to an author and the mother of a young woman of whom she is so proud.  Grace loves to cook and is quite talented at it.  A trained chef, she has chosen to stay at home to raise her daughter and be a helpmate to her husband supporting him in his career.  She has many friends and cooks most days of the week for a shelter she helped to form for women of abuse

Ted Chapman is a demanding, egotistical man whose fame has made him believe he is a God. But, his book sales have been slowly diminishing as his work is just not what it used to be.  He is still arrogant, narcissistic and his temper, especially with Grace, leaves her trembling.

Ted’s longtime assistant and Grace’s helper is having to leave her job to care for her elderly mother and Grace is worried if she will be able to find someone to fill her shoes.  It just so happens that the perfect candidate, Beth, presents herself at an awards dinner.  As Grace talks to her, she is completely amazed at the competence and enthusiasm that Beth shows.  When Ted interviews her, he too is totally charmed.  They hire her and little by little Beth begins to take over everything that Ted needs plus management of the household chores that Grace never seems to get to.

Grace was born in England to a woman who was bipolar.  While Grace tried hard to get her mother the help she needed, her mother refused and eventually died of the hard life she had adopted due to her illness.  Thus, Grace was left secretly fearing that one day she would be diagnosed with this disorder. So, when she started feeling a bit depressed and other physical problems developed, Beth and others convinced her to see a psychiatrist who put her on a laundry list of medications and diagnosed her as being bipolar.  Grace slowly sees that Beth is trying to take over her life but Ted doesn’t see it.  From there, life goes downhill.

What happens next convinces Grace to flee her home and head back to her good friend, Lydia, in England.  She was like a mother to her many years back and being with her again, helps her to begin the healing process.  Will Grace be able to keep her marriage going?  What about Beth?  Who is she and what is she trying to do?

I have given away enough of this story, but – oh – there is so much more.  Readers will find themselves wanting to kick Ted or Grace or Beth.  Come find out the whole story.  It will make you very wary the next time you hire someone.

Connie for b2b


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