On the surface, Grace and Jack seem to have the perfect marriage and are completely devoted to one another. Jack is a successful lawyer protecting battered women, while Grace is the perfect little housewife with the green thumb and cooking skills that rival Gordon Ramsey. But behind closed doors things are not always as they appear. Grace and Jack are suspiciously never apart and it seems Jack always has his hand on her elbow or back, one might see this as a sign of affection, but could it be more? Why doesn’t Grace’s friend ever see her without Jack. What secrets could this couple be hiding behind closed doors?
I kept seeing this book in the stores, on Goodreads, and being recommended by friends in my book club. I finally picked it up and snuggled into bed with the literary cats and devoured this book. Everything else faded, I barely heard text messages or even the music I had playing. I got lost in this story I could not get enough. Everything I read online had me intrigued to begin with and then once I started in on it exceeded my expectations.
I was a little weary about reading it because I was unsure if there would be actual abuse which is something sometimes I have a hard time handling, but with all the raving reviews, I decided to see how dark this book actually got. I can honestly say there is no outright physical abuse, it is all psychological. Jack feeds off fear and the anticipation of what will happen next, and the thrill of attempted escapes and pretending to be the perfect husband to the perfect wife knowing what is hidden within his perfect home.
Paris has the ability to draw readers in from the very beginning of the story. Paris’ writing is fantastic and there are so many quotes and moments that make the reader kind of snicker even though this is a rather serious novel such as Millie’s claims of not liking “Jorj Kooney” (George Clooney) here are a few samples of Paris’ writing from the book:
“We go downstairs and in the hall, he takes my coat from the cupboard and holds it open while I slip my arms into it. In the drive outside, he holds the car door for me and waits until I’m in. As he closes it behind me, I can’t help thinking it’s a shame he’s such a sadistic bastard, because he has wonderful manners.”
“And afterwards, as he drank in the sound of her fear and breathed in the smell of it, he wished he could keep her there for eternity”
Paris has an excellent way with using her words to describe every emotion, every sense, every interaction and minute detail. She spared nothing with this novel and nothing is filler information. It goes back and forth between present and past, but it doesn’t mess up with the continuity of the novel and it is easy to follow along and keep up with what is happening and when. I love the intelligence of not only Grace, but also Millie. I loved seeing a character with a major disability like Down Syndrome be portrayed as highly intelligent and capable of many things. I think this is something we need to see more often to help bring awareness to the awful stereotypes. And the ending oh my gosh, it really makes the book.
So far this is probably the best book I have read this year, and I highly recommend it to everyone who is looking for that one great book to read. I cannot wait to get my hands on another one of her books.