Grace has a problem, well several problems to be exact. She’s a liar and she can’t stop lying not only to herself but also to the people with whom she surrounds herself. She’s a thief but again doesn’t see herself as one, at least not at first. She can never be normal, not after what she has put everyone else through. And she is terrified that two men who are about to be set free on parole for robbing a historic mansion back in Garland, Tennessee are going to find her.
Rebecca Scherm writes a fantastic novel about a girl who spins a web of lies in hopes of becoming a better person, the person that everyone wants her to be. However, she can’t fulfill this vision because as her mother mentioned early on, she’s a “bad apple”. So she messes up relationships with everyone she meets, lies about who she is and about her background, steals art and antiques from deceased people and flees her problems from one place to another. Landing in Paris, France, she waits for all of her lies to catch up with her before showing her true colors, except the reader never knows what exactly that entails. Unbecoming is just that, the unraveling of a sad Southern girl as her story of love, theft, and loss is told in an engrossing tale that will keep readers turning the page until the very end.
Scherm’s writing is sharp and biting, leaving no room for the reader to feel compassionate toward Grace. There were multiple moments where I wished that I could have shaken her from her foggy mind and made her wake up to what she was doing to herself and everyone around her. I could not stop reading this novel and was reminded of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl because I never knew what the real truth was and was jolted back in forth in time and place between a young Grace in Tennessee, to a self-conscious teenage Grace in New York City and then a sad adult Grace in Paris. Unbecoming is a sad portrayal of love gone horribly wrong and how hard it can be to overcome self-destruction. This is a great read for people who love mysteries as well as heist novels and art.