I recently finished Rebecca Scherm’s debut novel, Unbecoming.
I thought when I read the blurb about this book that it would be an easy rave review, but I’m sad to say it wasn’t.
That isn’t to say the book was terrible, there were parts I enjoyed. However, I felt the plot moved very slowly.
Unbecoming focuses on Grace, who is from small-town Tennessee. When we first meet her, she’s in Paris, going by the name of Julie and keeping tabs on her husband and his best friend, who are set to be released from a Tennessee prison for a robbery.
As the plot progresses, Scherm flashes back to Grace’s earlier years and she came to know Riley, who she ends up marrying, and Alls, his best friend. In my opinion, there was way too much detail given. Scherm devotes a lot of time and energy in her writing to making sure the reader understands how desperately Grace was seeking the love and attention she received from Riley’s family, only to pay it back by stealing from them.
Disclaimer: Grace is a kleptomaniac, at least to some degree.
There is a bit of a love triangle aspect, and if I’m being totally honest, the only reason I kept reading at one point was to see which person Grace ended up with and how. I wasn’t really invested in the plot.
Spoiler: Grace never changes her ways. She still is stealing at the end of the book.
The title, I believe, is relating to how Grace unbecomes herself to become Julie in Paris, the reason which is disclosed about halfway through the book. It also relates to how she unbecomes Julie to become Grace once again, or Grace 2.0.
While this book was touted as being fast-paced and exciting, I just didn’t see that. I was bored through much of it.
There were a few moments that were intriguing, but if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t read this book.
I had high expectations for Unbecoming and maybe that was my downfall in liking it. When it got compared to Gone Girl and Marisha Pessl’s work, I thought for sure I would love it.
That’s what I get for setting my sights too high.