Book Review: You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

You Should Have Known (click book for details)
By Jean Hanff Korelitz
Released 3/18/14
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 4 bones

Finish Time: 4 nights.  I had to think on this book for a while and still have some unanswered questions.  It started out really strong, middle was a bit boring (in comparison) and then the ending was intense.  So overall – it was a fast read and kept me up late turning pages.

Meet Grace Reinhart Sachs.  Wife. Mother. Therapist. Fundraising Board Member at the exclusive Reardon private school.  Daughter.  Stepdaughter.  Daughter-in-law.  Friend.  I’m probably missing some – but she played a lot of roles in this book, each individually explored.

Grace is the author of a book titled “You Should Have Known”, sharing tidbits from what she has learned as a marriage therapist.  Her theory mainly being that people don’t change.  There are signs there at the beginning of a courtship/relationship that you may notice yet ignore because you are so caught up in the moment, but come up after the honeymoon is over and are issues.  Interesting concept, probably true.  But she is proved a hypocrite when her husband turns up missing and a whole other side of him is unveiled throughout the book, that, go figure, she didn’t know.

Really makes the reader think, should she have known?  would you? can someone hide something that big from someone?  are there “big” issues you have chosen to ignore in your partner?  I think this book is set up perfectly for a prequel as the book starts after Grace has written this book and the biggest drama of her life begins.  So some insight into the meeting, courtship, and beginning of her relationship with Jonathan may have shed some light on recent events.  The reader merely has to take Grace’s word for it when she says there were no signs.  But it’s really hard to see how there couldn’t be and think she was just too busy with other things to know what was going on.  While you do feel for her at some points, and definitely her son, could she really be that ignorant?

I was also annoyed at times at Grace’s withdrawal from the whole situation.  The book presented so much drama, unsolved drama, and Grace’s instinct was to leave it all.  Never having and hopefully never will be in that situation, it does make you wonder what you would do.  Would you want to follow what is happening to your once “perfect” life now thrown all over the news and the topic of gossip in everyone you know?  Probably not, but as a reader with Grace as your guide, it leaves you dying to know details.  They come, be patient.  And when they do, oh boy, it is more than you would ever expect.

Again not an easy topic, like the last book I read that dealt primarily with adultery, but this one you really get involved in the story and want answers right along with everyone else.  Not happy, but a satisfying end, that may leave it open too – I’ll be watching this author for more!

If you get a chance – you’ll like this one.  Check out a bonus teaser from this week too!

Blurb from Amazon:

Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: she lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book 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: a violent death, a missing husband, and, in the place of a man Grace thought she knew, only an ongoing chain of terrible revelations. Left behind in the wake of a spreading and 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 her child and herself.


Filed under Chapters

3 responses to “Book Review: You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz

  1. Gede Prama

    Well written. May peace be with you 🙂

  2. evandaestes

    I wish I had time to read more! Every time you post something about a book in my mind I am like, Goodness I need to read a book! Any book! lol

  3. Ann Pursley

    Is this a book I could borrow from you? Sounds good!!Mom

    Date: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:54:32 +0000 To:


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