Friday, May 29, 2015

[Book Review] Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm


Andrea reviews UNBECOMING by Rebecca Scherm (Viking Press, 2015)
In this solidly-written tale of cat and mouse, readers are introduced to Julie who works in a French antiques shop called Zanuso.  The work is tedious and grubby but it keeps her away from her hometown of Garland, Tennessee where she had a sordid past as Grace.

Grace had been with Riley since they were twelve years old and discovered the differences between boys and girls. She loved him with every ounce of her being and adored his family, and it seemed the love and adoration was mutual. Escaping from her own family, Grace was all but adopted by the Graham family. Mrs. Graham loved Grace as her own daughter, the daughter she never had, and even set up an attic bedroom for Grace.

Because the two had been a couple for so long, Grace knew all of Riley’s friends and all of their secrets, plans, and schemes. When Riley and his two best friends, Alls and Greg, hit rock bottom financially, Grace jokingly suggested they could rob the town’s historical landmark, Wynne House. She told them to pillage the place for items the docents wouldn’t miss and then sell the items to art collectors and galleries.

When Grace realized the boys were bringing her plan to fruition, she knew to get the hell out of Dodge and totally reinvent herself to avoid conviction as an accessory to the crime. After a near-fatal experience in Prague, Grace escaped to France.

As “Julie from California,” she constantly lives in fear while working at Zanuso or checking Garland’s online newspaper in her small rented room. She constantly kept online tabs on Riley and Alls the three years they were in prison for robbery.

Readers will hold their breath when Alls finds Grace in Paris and will not exhale until the very last page of the epilogue.

How long do you have to run from your past when the past will inevitably catch up with you?  Find out what happens in this well-written debut novel from author Rebecca Scherm.

Andrea King, Poplar-White Station Library

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