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You Should Have Known Hardcover – March 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455599492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455599493
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (648 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This excellent literary mystery by the author of 2009's Admission unfolds with authentic detail in a rarified contemporary Manhattan. Therapist Grace Reinhart Sachs is about to embark on a publicity blitz to promote her buzzed-about book on why relationships fail, You Should Have Known. In the meantime, she cares for her 12-year-old son, Henry, who attends the same private school she went to as a child. Grace also treasures her loving relationship with her longtime husband Jonathan, a pediatric cancer doctor at a prestigious hospital. The novel's first third offers readers an authoritative glimpse into the busy-but-leisurely lives of private-school moms. Grace does her best to get along with the school's vapid and catty fundraising committee. She eventually learns that one of the mothers outside her social strata, Malaga Alves, was found murdered in her apartment by her young son. Grace, already tense and sad from these events, becomes more and more anxious as Jonathan, at a medical conference in the Midwest, proves unreachable over several days. The author deftly places the reader in Grace's shoes by exploring her isolation, unease, and contempt for the rumor mill. The plot borders on hyperbole when it comes to upending what we know about one character, but that doesn't take much away from this intriguing and beautiful book. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, WME Entertainment. (Mar. 2014)

From Booklist

There is an exquisite but excruciating irony in the fact that Grace’s marriage is imploding. The successful Manhattan couples therapist is just about to start the PR blitz for her first book, one that examines the tell-tale, “he’s not right for you” signs that, caught early enough, can prevent shaky relationships from becoming emotional earthquakes. Mired in the media whirlwind while working on a fundraiser for her son’s tony private school, Grace is only peripherally aware that her husband, charismatic pediatric oncologist Jonathan, is characteristically but frustratingly incommunicado. Then when one of her committee associates is found brutally murdered the same time Jonathan drops off the radar screen, Grace slowly learns that everything she thought she knew about the man she married is blatantly false. Like peeling back the layers of an onion, Korelitz’s stinging deconstruction of this marital facade simultaneously reveals the inexorable lies about Grace’s supposedly ideal mate. Sensitively delving into the intricacies of self-deception, Korelitz (The White Rose, 2005) delivers a smart and unsettling psychological drama. --Carol Haggas

More About the Author

Jean Hanff Korelitz was born and raised in New York City and graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. She is the author of the novels A JURY OF HER PEERS, THE SABBATHDAY RIVER, THE WHITE ROSE and ADMISSION, as well as INTERFERENCE POWDER, a novel for middle grade readers, and THE PROPERTIES OF BREATH, a collection of poetry. A new novel, YOU SHOULD HAVE KNOWN, will be published early in 2014. A film version of ADMISSION starring Tina Fey, Paul Rudd and Lily Tomlin was released in March 2013.

Customer Reviews

Compelling characters, and a great story.
Colleen Saunders
I, like others, found too much insignificant verbiage, a rather stupid main character, and unexplained plot twists.
connie
This is the first book in a long time that I had a very hard time getting through.
Christy Harp

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 104 people found the following review helpful By "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In this compelling portrait of a psychotherapist and her family, the eponymous You Should Have Known refers to a book written by relationship/marriage therapist, Grace Reinhart Sachs. Grace's self-help/relationship book candidly opens up to women about their penchant to ignore signs of toxic partners. She identifies the red flags that one should detect when hooking up with a lifetime partner. Grace claims that most of us "know," even from the beginning, when a partner isn't right for us; too often we disregard the evidence in our quest to try and reconcile that other person into our lives. Fortunately for Grace, she has had 17 happily married years with Jonathan, a compassionate pediatric oncologist. Until one day, her life turns upside down.

Grace's book is on the verge of being published; already she has had interviews with different magazines and TV news shows. Jonathan is supportive, her practice thrives, and their twelve-year-old son, Henry, is a bright student at a private, prestigious middle school. They live in the New York apartment that Grace grew up in. Their lives are content and balanced. And, then, a tragedy throws Grace into the teeth of an emotional storm. Her life has convulsed, her world is tilted, her compass is in uncharted territory, and misaligned. She has only herself, her comfort zones (special places in NY that she has known since childhood, a rural farmhouse in Connecticut, eateries she frequents), and her beloved son. Now, she thinks, who should have known?

There's a crime, but this isn't a crime book or police procedural, despite some conspicuous detectives.
Read more ›
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110 of 125 people found the following review helpful By RobynJC VINE VOICE on March 12, 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was so primed to love this book. And there are things to like a lot about it. It's a great premise -- Grace is a successful Manhattan psychologist with the perfect life and perfect husband writes a book criticizing women for not following their instincts in love, only to find out days before publication that her own husband, and her own life, are not what she thought at all. In fact, nothing is as she thought at all: her instincts about everyone around her, from her best friend to her own husband, have been proven to be very truly wrong.

Great premise, right? And there's great writing in here, especially in the very clear depiction of the upper-middle-class Manhattan lifestyle, its perks and its perils. But... I kept waiting for it to really get started. And it never does. This is a strangely passive book. For one thing, all the interesting action takes place offstage: the murders, the murder investigation, the gossiping about Grace and her family, the gradual unraveling of the truth - all offstage. Her husband, the ultimate villain of the piece, does not make an appearance - not in the present day, not even in flashbacks. That's an incredibly strange choice, like having a Shakespearean drama where the villain is never seen. We don't even see very basic conflicts such as Grace's circle turning on her. Literally, Grace spends the vast majority of the book in denial of what is going on, just going about her life; and then when she realizes what happens, she flees town, never to return. It's a strangely passive book where almost everything interesting takes place in a different room from the one where the story is being told.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Chris on April 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
SPOILER ALERT The first part of this three part book grabbed me. I was into it, and was planning on recommending it to friends. But the author dropped the ball when she got to parts two and three. I read to the end, hoping it would get better. Instead, it relies on what I would call "chick lit" cliches, becoming a beach novel, when it could have been a great novel. Here's the quick list of what I ended up hating about this book: The heroine is the only mother at her son's school who isn't a vacuous snob, and we get plenty of opportunities to come to that realization. Her son has no faults, and may be the first 12 year old to immediately be accepted by other 12 year olds and flourish at a new school, the very first day. The in-laws, villians at first, in an instant become the Cleavers, accepting her into their family without hesitation, after 20 years of no contact at all. It's okay that her father cheated repeatedly on her mother, although we hate her husband for cheating on her. Her evil step-mother turns out to be a sweetheart; it was all a misunderstanding over some dishes. And perhaps the most disappointing of all, our heroine finds love within just a few months of fleeing her nightmare in NYC. At first he seems to be a local yokel, but wait, No, he's a college professor. So he is acceptable after all. He finds her adolescent son "wonderful" (as everyone does) and the son warms up to him just as fast. The only suspense in this book: would she end up in the arms of the lake neighbor, or the arms of the police detective. But the detective has a double chin, so we know it has to be the lake neighbor. You've read this same book a hundred times. It's headed straight to Lifetime TV.
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