You Should Have Known
Jean Hanff Korelitz
Faber and Faber Ltd
Faber & Faber
A smart, addictive and psychologically acute novel about what we think we know, what we should have known, and what we choose to ignore, for fans of Kate Atkinson, Gillian Flynn, Claire Messud and Louise Doughty.
‘You knew right at the beginning. She knew he was never going to stop looking at other women. She knew he couldn’t save money. She knew he was contemptuous of her… But then she somehow let herself un-know what she knew.’
Grace Sachs, a happily married therapist with a young son, thinks she knows everything about women, men and marriage. She is about to publish a book called You Should Have Known, based on her pet theory: women don’t value their intuition about what men are really like, leading to serious trouble later on.
But how well does Grace know her own husband? She is about to find out, and in the place of what she thought she knew, there will be a violent death, a missing husband, and a chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a very public disaster, and horrified by the ways in which she has failed to heed her own advice, Grace must dismantle one life and create another for herself and her child.
I really enjoyed immersing myself in this story and I full heartedly agree with the premise that this narrative is based on – the fact that we all have intuitive moments and that these should not be ignored, that we should listen more and then perhaps than we could save ourselves a lot of pain.
I loved hearing Grace’s voice – her professional, rational, clear and concise voice and the conversations in her head that we are privy to – so many of these comments rung true. I liked the characters of Grace and her son Henry, they are well developed and likeable, the modern, ladder climbing, “society” aerobicized wives and mothers make me glad I am not of that world. J
A sociopath in our midst – this narrative was enthralling, some of the behaviours were incredible and with hindsight, we can recognise so many of the limiting/isolating attitudes and see how the evil can flourish in our well-meaning midst. A thought provoking and interesting read.