My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Grace Chapman has an enviable set-up, living comfortably with her husband, bestselling author Ted, in a picture-perfect farmhouse on the Hudson River in New York State.
Then Ted advertises for a new assistant, and Beth walks into their lives. Organized, passionate and eager to learn, Beth quickly makes herself indispensable to Ted and his family. But Grace soon begins to feel side-lined in her home – and her marriage – by this ambitious younger woman.
Is Grace just paranoid, as her husband tells her, or is there more to Beth than there first appears?
My Review: I just loved the sound of this latest Jane Green book. It kind of has that ‘Single White Female’ feel to it. Grace Chapman is a woman seemingly living on the edge. Within the first few chapters I absolutely loathed her bullying author husband. However, a few chapters in and you realise that Grace knows no different. Her life has been ruled and surrounded by people that control the way she feels. On the surface she has the perfect marriage. Everyone seems to fawn over her bestselling author husband Ted Chapman (Lord knows why). Ted used to have an assistant Ellen, who had to suddenly leave to care for her Mother. It now seems like Grace has even more pressure upon her as her life seems to get even more disorganised by the minute.
Enter Beth! From the minute the reader meets Beth you just know there is something not quite right about her. Beth has by chance been introduced to Grace and seems like the answer to her prayers. Before long Beth has managed to integrate herself into Grace and Ted’s lives and has become almost indispensable. The way Jane Green has written Beth’s character makes it clear that something isn’t right but you just don’t quite know what. It meant I just had to keep reading, and dinner would have to wait.
Pretty soon Grace feels like she is losing her mind as her life seems to slowly slip away from her. I love reading books like this that make me want to stand up and shout and scream at Grace to see sense. Jane Green has done another stellar job in weaving a tale of an ordinary woman whose life becomes somewhat disjointed. The book kept me reading until slowly the layers of deceit and betrayal are unravelled. The only reason I didn’t score this 5/5 is that there were a couple of points in the story that didn’t quite sit right with me towards the end. Other than that another fantastic read.
My Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him – even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt . . .
Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.
Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive?
My Review: I was looking forward to reading this latest release by Jane Green and as usual she hasn’t disappointed. Gabby and Elliot are a normal couple, and it’ clear from the outset, still very much in love. Gabby and her friend Claire often have discussions regarding women who risk it all by having an affair. We meet Gabby and Elliot and get a real feel for their everyday life along with their two teenage daughters. At first glance it seems like they are one of the few couples that are rock solid.
However, as time progresses we learn more about Gabby and after a while I could almost feel her lack of confidence in herself. On a girls night out she meets a young man called Matt and at that point it seems her life is altered. As soon as she meets Matt, I could feel Gabby changing. Jane Green has that knack of making the reader really feel what the character is experiencing. In this case you can see what is happening in front of us, which is a slightly older woman being flattered and given attention. Matt has the ability to make Gabby feel a little bit dangerous and reckless.
Initially, I wasn’t sure how the story was going to play out, but wasn’t expecting what occurred. This is a story that is probably a real possibility for many women out there and although I know that what Gabby was doing was dangerous, I totally understood why she did it! The actual story isn’t particularly anything original, but Jane Green has managed to create a wonderful story out of something so ordinary; and more to the point, a story I didn’t want to put down.
I am rarely disappointed with a Jane Green book and this one is no different. I wouldn’t say it’s the best she has ever written, but was a book that I was thoroughly absorbed in. I’m already looking forward to the next book!
My Rating: 4/5
It has been a year and a half since Jane’s last book and I was really looking forward to this one. As soon as I received it I got stuck in and it took me less than a few pages to be completely absorbed in the lives of the characters. Andi and Ethan are married and Ethan’s two children Emily and Sophia live with them. Her whole life Andi has waited to fall in love with a man like Ethan and to receive a readymade family is the icing on the cake. What she didn’t prepare herself for was the difficulty in becoming a stepmother to these two children.
The main focus of the story is Emily, Ethan’s eldest child who is nothing short of difficult. She is making life for Ethan and Andi very difficult and straight away I did not like this spoilt child. I was hoping that underneath it all was a likeable but troubled young girl! Like her last book, this one features the realities of life and stepchildren is a commonplace issue now for many people (myself included). It was refreshing to read about the not so nice side of this story and how trying to do the right thing by Stepchildren is not as easy as it sounds.
After years of trying to resolve the situation Andi finally gets to breaking point and decides she has no other option than to leave. That is before Emily turns up with a major bombshell that changes everything. It is difficult to discuss major points of the story without spoiling it, but all I will say is that life is made even more complicated for all of those concerned.
The story is not the flowers and roses kind of fairy-tale but one that shows how real life can be and the curveballs you can be thrown. I thought that this book and especially the way it was written was great and made for a compelling read. It kept my interest especially as the story is set over a few years. Jane Green’s books have a very different feel to them in comparison to her earlier books such as Babyville but they are still great books to read.
Although I am limited in what I can say for fear of spoilers, I will tell you that this book was certainly a great read and one that I would recommend.
My Rating: 4/5
Jane Green is a best-selling author that has been writing since 1997 with her debut novel Straight Talking. Once I had discovered her, I read every single book she had published. I then ensured that all of her new publications were on my pre-order list. However, when I reached her book Girl Friday I felt such disappointment. I felt like she had gone off the boil and lost her touch. When I saw that her new book had been released, I ordered it with the hope that maybe the last book was a blip. I think that after reading this book I am in two minds.
This book is about two sisters Callie and Steffi. Callie is the typical mother with husband and two kids who lives in the suburbs very happily. Her younger sister Steffi is the free spirit that still lives in the heart of New York, moving from job to job and man to man. Callie has everything and more, her children are her life, her relationship with her sister is good and she is still madly in love with her husband. Steff is working as a chef in New York and dating her latest in a string of Rock Star boyfriends. We also meet Lila who is Callie’s best friend. In the past she has struggled with relationships but has now met the man Ed who she thinks is `The One’.
It is extremely hard to give an idea on how the book progresses as it would be a major spoiler, but hence to say there is a `life changing experience’ that effects everybody’s life. The characters are written in true Jane Green style and I felt like her writing was back to her best. Although her writing was great the story itself was a little too sad for my liking. Having read to the end of the book Jane Green has written a chapter about why she has written this book and I have to say I believe this book was a good thing for her to do.
The story itself was well constructed and the characters were loveable. Many people will be able to empathise with the situation but I defy many to not reach for the tissues when reading it. I can only hope that this book was her comeback and maybe a soul-searching experience for her. I just hope that Jane Green in future returns to her well-loved recipe of great writing and storytelling with that feel good feeling about it. I would recommend this book but just be warned that is not the happiest book you will read and maybe you need to be prepared for that.