Sunday, February 15, 2015


Rebecca Scherm

On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went badbut not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravelsand she becomes another young woman entirely.

Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Rebecca Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna Tartt. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

When we first meet Grace, she is living in Paris under the alias of Julie. Unbecoming is the story of her current life and how she got to be there.

I like the way the author wove Grace’s past with her present. I found the part about her life prior to being exiled oversees to be the most interesting. Yet her current life was important to understand, as eventually Grace’s past collides with her present in a very interesting way.

The author presents us with some very interesting characters. This is part mystery and part love triangle. Most of the story is quite captivating. I did feel that the ending fell a bit flat. There was this great build up of suspense and I think I was expecting something different at the end.

This was well worth reading. I thought it was an outstanding debut and I would be very interested in reading future stories from Ms. Scherm.

My thanks to Penguin Group Viking, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

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