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You Should Have Known: How a Therapist's Life Unraveled by Jean Hanff Korelitz


You Should Have Known: Jean Hanff Korelitz [EPUB]




If you are looking for a gripping psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end, you should have known about You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. This is a novel that explores the dark secrets of a seemingly perfect marriage and the consequences of not knowing the truth about your partner. In this article, I will give you an overview of the book, its author, and why you should read it. I will also discuss the plot, the characters, and the themes of the book. Finally, I will conclude with a summary of the main points, a recommendation and rating, and some FAQs.




You Should Have Known: Jean Hanff Korelitz [EPUB]



Introduction




What is the book about?




You Should Have Known is a psychological thriller that was published in 2014 by Grand Central Publishing. It tells the story of Grace Reinhart Sachs, a successful therapist and author who is about to launch her book on how women can avoid bad relationships by trusting their intuition. However, her life is turned upside down when her husband, Jonathan, a pediatric oncologist, goes missing after a brutal murder of one of his patients' parents. As Grace tries to find out what happened to him, she discovers that he has been hiding a shocking secret that puts her and her son, Henry, in danger.


Who is the author?




Jean Hanff Korelitz is an American novelist and essayist who was born in New York City in 1961. She graduated from Dartmouth College and Clare College, Cambridge. She has written seven novels, including Admission, which was adapted into a film starring Tina Fey and Paul Rudd, and The Plot, which was released in 2021 and became a bestseller. She is also the founder of BOOKTHEWRITER, a service that connects authors with book groups. She lives in New York City with her husband, the poet Paul Muldoon, and their two children.


Why should you read it?




You should read You Should Have Known if you enjoy suspenseful stories that explore the psychology of human relationships and the consequences of lying. The book is well-written, with a fast-paced plot that will keep you hooked from the first page to the last. The book also offers a realistic and nuanced portrayal of Grace's emotions as she faces the betrayal of her husband and the loss of her identity. The book also raises some interesting questions about how well we can ever know someone else, and how much we can trust ourselves.


Main body




The plot




The premise




The book begins with Grace preparing for an interview with a magazine about her upcoming book, You Should Have Known, which is based on her years of experience as a therapist. She argues that women often ignore the signs of trouble in their relationships and end up with men who are wrong for them. She believes that women should have known better and trusted their intuition. She also thinks that she has a perfect marriage with Jonathan, who is a devoted husband and father, and a respected doctor. They live in a luxurious apartment in Manhattan with their 12-year-old son, Henry, who attends a prestigious private school.


The twist




However, Grace's world is shattered when she learns that one of Henry's classmates, Malaga Alves, has been brutally murdered in her home, and that her husband, Pedro, is the prime suspect. Grace is shocked by the news, but even more so when she finds out that Jonathan was Malaga's doctor and that he has disappeared without a trace. She tries to contact him, but his phone is disconnected, his office is closed, and his bank accounts are empty. She realizes that she knows nothing about his whereabouts, his past, or his motives. She also learns that he has been lying to her about his family background, his education, and his professional credentials.


The ending




As Grace tries to cope with the situation, she is contacted by a detective who tells her that Jonathan is not only a suspect in Malaga's murder, but also in another murder that took place 20 years ago in Connecticut. He also reveals that Jonathan has another name, another wife, and another child. Grace is stunned by the revelation and decides to leave New York with Henry and go to her family's lake house in Connecticut. There, she hopes to find some answers and some peace. However, she soon discovers that Jonathan has followed them and that he is determined to get them back. He confronts Grace and confesses that he killed Malaga because she threatened to expose him. He also admits that he killed his first wife because she found out about his lies. He begs Grace to forgive him and to run away with him. Grace refuses and tries to escape, but Jonathan attacks her. She manages to stab him with a knife and calls the police. Jonathan dies from his wounds and Grace is rescued. The book ends with Grace trying to rebuild her life with Henry and starting a new career as a writer.


The characters




Grace Reinhart Sachs




Grace is the protagonist of the book. She is a 43-year-old therapist and author who specializes in helping women avoid bad relationships. She is smart, confident, and successful. She loves her husband, Jonathan, and her son, Henry, and believes that they have a happy and stable family. However, she is also naive and blind to the signs of trouble in her marriage. She is shocked and devastated when she discovers that Jonathan has been lying to her for years and that he is a murderer. She struggles to accept the truth and to protect herself and Henry from Jonathan's wrath. She also faces the judgment and criticism of the media and the public, who accuse her of being hypocritical and clueless. She eventually realizes that she should have known better and that she needs to trust herself more.


Jonathan Sachs




Jonathan is the antagonist of the book. He is a 44-year-old pediatric oncologist who works at a hospital in Harlem. He is charming, handsome, and caring. He appears to be a loving husband and father, and a dedicated doctor. However, he is also a pathological liar and a sociopath. He has been hiding his true identity and history from Grace and everyone else. He has another name, another family, and another life. He has also killed two women who threatened to expose him. He feels no remorse or guilt for his actions. He only cares about himself and his survival. He tries to manipulate Grace into staying with him by playing on her emotions and guilt.


Henry Sachs




Henry is the son of Grace and Jonathan. He is a 12-year-old boy who attends Rearden, an elite private school in Manhattan. He is smart, talented, and sensitive. He plays the violin in the school orchestra and has a crush on Malaga Alves, his classmate who is murdered. He is traumatized by the events that unfold in his life. He loses his father, his home, his school, and his friends. He also learns that his father was not who he claimed to be and that he killed Malaga and others. He feels angry, confused, and betrayed by his father. He also feels guilty for not noticing anything wrong with him. He supports his mother and tries to cope with the situation.


Malaga Alves




Malaga Alves




Malaga is one of Henry's classmates at Rearden. She is a 12-year-old girl who comes from a poor Brazilian family who lives in Harlem. She is beautiful, smart, and friendly. She has a rare form of cancer that requires expensive treatment at the hospital where Jonathan works. She becomes friends with Henry and develops a crush on him. She also becomes close to Jonathan, who acts as her mentor and benefactor. However, she discovers that Jonathan is not who he says he is and that he has another family. She confronts him and threatens to tell Grace and the police. Jonathan kills her in her home and stages it as a robbery gone wrong. She is the catalyst for the unraveling of Jonathan's lies and Grace's life.


The themes




Marriage and betrayal




One of the main themes of the book is marriage and betrayal. The book explores how a seemingly perfect marriage can hide a dark and dangerous secret that can destroy everything. The book also shows how betrayal can affect not only the spouses, but also their children, their friends, and their community. The book questions how well we can ever know our partners, and how much we can trust them. The book also examines how betrayal can shatter our sense of identity and security, and how we can cope with the aftermath.


Self-deception and denial




Another theme of the book is self-deception and denial. The book illustrates how we can deceive ourselves and deny the reality of our situations, especially when they are unpleasant or painful. The book shows how Grace ignores the signs of trouble in her marriage and convinces herself that Jonathan is a good man who loves her. She also denies that he could be capable of murder or lying to her for years. She refuses to accept the truth until it is too late. The book also shows how Jonathan deceives himself and denies his responsibility for his actions. He rationalizes his lies and his crimes as necessary for his survival and happiness. He also denies that he has done anything wrong or that he deserves any punishment.


Guilt and responsibility




A third theme of the book is guilt and responsibility. The book explores how we can feel guilty and responsible for things that are not our fault, and how we can deal with those feelings. The book shows how Grace feels guilty for not knowing the truth about Jonathan and for not preventing his crimes. She also feels responsible for Henry's trauma and for Malaga's death. She blames herself for being naive and blind. The book also shows how Henry feels guilty for not noticing anything wrong with his father and for liking Malaga. He blames himself for being stupid and weak. The book also shows how Malaga feels guilty for exposing Jonathan and for putting Grace and Henry in danger. She blames herself for being curious and reckless.


Conclusion




Summary of the main points




In conclusion, You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Grace Reinhart Sachs, a therapist and author who discovers that her husband, Jonathan Sachs, is a liar and a murderer who has been hiding his true identity and history from her for years. The book follows Grace's journey as she tries to find out what happened to him, to protect herself and her son, Henry, from him, and to rebuild her life after his betrayal. The book also explores the themes of marriage and betrayal, self-deception and denial, guilt and responsibility.


Recommendation and rating




I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys suspenseful stories that explore the psychology of human relationships and the consequences of lying. The book is well-written, with a fast-paced plot that will keep you hooked from the first page to the last. The book also offers a realistic and nuanced portrayal of Grace's emotions as she faces the betrayal of her husband and the loss of her identity. The book also raises some interesting questions about how well we can ever know someone else, and how much we can trust ourselves.


I would rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.


FAQs




  • Q: Is this book based on a true story?



  • A: No, this book is not based on a true story. However, it was inspired by some real-life cases of people who lied about their identities and histories, such as Clark Rockefeller and Christian Gerhartsreiter.



  • Q: Is this book a series or a standalone?



  • A: This book is a standalone novel. However, it was adapted into a TV series called The Undoing, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, which aired on HBO in 2020.



  • Q: How does the TV series differ from the book?



  • A: The TV series differs from the book in several ways, such as the names of the characters, the setting, the timeline, and the ending. For example, in the TV series, Grace's name is Grace Fraser, Jonathan's name is Jonathan Fraser, and they live in New York City instead of Connecticut. The TV series also adds some new characters and subplots, such as Grace's father, Franklin, and her friend, Sylvia. The TV series also changes the ending of the book, making it more ambiguous and open-ended.



  • Q: What is the meaning of the title of the book?



  • A: The title of the book, You Should Have Known, refers to Grace's book, which is based on her theory that women can avoid bad relationships by trusting their intuition. It also refers to Grace's realization that she should have known better and that she ignored the signs of trouble in her marriage. It also implies that the reader should have known that Jonathan was not who he claimed to be and that he was hiding something.



  • Q: What is the genre of the book?



  • A: The genre of the book is psychological thriller. This is a subgenre of thriller that focuses on the psychological aspects of the characters and their situations, rather than on physical action or violence. Psychological thrillers often involve themes such as deception, manipulation, betrayal, guilt, paranoia, obsession, and identity.



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