I like Sarra Manning’s prose. But I’ve hated every character of hers I’ve ever read. This is some kind of Emily Giffin chick lit gone dark and angsty.
Grace, a 23-year-old with no self-esteem, is stumbling through life making bad decisions. Enter wealthy Vaughn – who begins making her decisions for her. He introduces her to a new world, but belittles and controls her so that she always kinda doubt herself and bumbles along. Grace’s toxic BFF, her boss, her family and her ex make appearances making bizarre demands and generally stomping Grace into the ground. Grace and Vaughn each have some impulse-control issues that are uncomfortable – perhaps intended to make them more likable it just sort of makes them seem weak (and him mean about it.)
There are explanations for all of this. And we (eventually) get to them. Vaughn even does something sort of nice. For me the explanations and kind-of nice didn’t get the bad taste out of my mouth (the incident when she had the flu was when I reached unforgivable status). I’m not sure what Manning was going for here. A sort of anti-hero Pretty Woman? This book is certainly a step out of the ordinary.
If you enjoy lengthy books and a journey with flawed characters on their way to sort-of, slightly, okay-not-really less-flawed this is the book for you.