Let’s face it. Grace is no Jemima Jones! (Jemima is one of Jane Green’s better known and better loved fictional characters)
I like Grace when I first meet her. She’s dealing with a moody, often-ungrateful, unloving and unlovable writer husband, Ted. Which writer among us can’t empathize as we see spunky Grace personifying the people who love and support us in our moods.
Then Grace reveals herself to be a great, even if horribly disorganized, cook and I identify with her.
Then I found out that Grace married a good looking, older, successful writer who she has nothing in common with, to advance her own career. And I started to not like Grace so much. And when I found out that Grace married a man who treats her the same way her emotionally abusive mother treated her, and has been disappearing into her life since she was a child, I started wanting to shake some sense into her.
In Grace’s words, she describes her husband and his former assistant, Ellen’s, role in their lives:
Ellen made him the kind of man she could be married to. Ellen mothered him, and looked after him, and made sure his every need was taken care of so when he was delivered back to Grace at the end of every working day he was happy and loved, like the happiest of children. Without Ellen, he is almost unbearable.
Poor Grace! With Ellen gone, Grace hires a young replacement, Beth, to essentially take over part of her responsibilities but gives her way too much access to her home, her husband, her business – her life.
Maybe Saving Grace is not supposed to be a mystery but I could see this book’s climax way in the horizon and I wasn’t even mad with Beth when she revealed herself as a scheming villain.
Because Grace is a cookbook editor, she mentions dishes throughout the book and the recipes appear at the end of the chapters. Honestly, I didn’t think they added any value to the book.
Other than the lack of surprise, it’s a good read, but I’ve read better from Jane Green.
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