Book Review: Unbecoming
ashley | First, a big thank you to the Lit Bitch for this copy of Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm. When I read the description, I was totally enamored and I had to get my hands on a copy right away, it sounded like the kind of book that would really blow my mind, but I honestly can’t tell you whether or not I liked it.
About half way through, I didn’t feel very blown away. I was intrigued and interested in hearing how things turned out, but I wasn’t craving information and I wasn’t developing theories in my head to try and sort it out myself because I just couldn’t wait.
Unbecoming basically documents the rise and fall of Grace, detailing her poor teen years in a southern small town and unraveling all her past secrets and the lies she has told to get her where she is today – an antique restoration store in Paris.
I didn’t really like Grace. She was a liar and manipulator and she did some really terrible things to people she loved. And yet, I felt a sense of sympathy or some kind of connection to her. An understanding, maybe. And I hated that. That kind of sums her up right there. She has done a lot of terrible things, but people keep forgiving her and not holding her accountable. She has some uncontrollable power to put people at ease or at least offer understanding when what she’s done really is inexcusable.
I don’t know if you’re supposed to like Grace or not. I don’t know if you’re supposed to want her to get away with what she did or if you are supposed to want her to get what was coming to her in the end. I felt a little apathetic about either instance and mostly just wanted to see where she ended up. The ending kind of matched my middle ground apathy, which seemed fitting.
The men in her life – Riley and Alls – neither of them really did it for me either. Riley and Grace seemed to have such a passionate young love affair, I couldn’t really believe that if that was true, Grace would start to have feelings for Alls. It just seemed like Grace was creating unnecessary drama in her life because she was spoiled and bored and selfish. But that’s kind of the point, Grace is spoiled and bored and selfish and she takes her life for granted and ruins everything for everyone around her.
I did really enjoy the thieving components, the plans to rob the Wynne House, the petty theft that she used to survive. Those plans and their repercussions were interesting to read about and kept me going further, but I really felt little for the characters, they were all seedy and unhappy and, well, unbecoming.