Review by Ann McDonald
Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is the author of a book titled “You Should Have Known”, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them. But weeks before the book is published, a chasm opens in her own life.
Korelitz has an excellent eye for detail. Effects, people, places, she has almost instant recall on certain things. She loves words and has a passionate affair with the words at her disposal so take your time with this book. Grace is a very competent therapist with a successful practice, a wonderful husband who happens to be a doctor and a young son, Henry. When the mother of one of Henry’s classmates is murdered and she is taken in for questioning by the police, she is totally baffled. She hardly knew the woman and had no idea why she was killed. At the time of the woman’s death, Grace’s husband was out of town at a medical conference but she had no idea where he was.
She informs the police that these trips for him were often and that he would usually call her when he was on his way home. The story begins to unfold and her life begins to untangle right in front of you as she realizes that her husband had a family with this woman that she knew nothing about. The stage is well set for what is to come and you find it unbelievable that she didn’t know. He has quite successfully separated her from family and friends and she realizes she is isolated from everyone. In her mind, or so she thought, he was all that she ever needed. The fact that she has written a book called “You Should Have Known”, which is about to be published and the publishers’ agent is trying to talk to her, adds to the misery.
She takes her son with her to their summer home on the lake, to get away from everything to try and make sense of her life and gradually, she realizes the depths her husband sank to and you feel for her. Eventually, her life sorts itself out and will never be the same again. The ending is tied up all nice and neat, actually, it was too neat for my liking, and while you do feel for Grace, you can’t help but think that she should have known.
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