Open to US residents only
About the book
Welcome to the world of Rebecca Scherm: a mesmerizing, nail-biting tale of lies and deception, desperate stakes and dual identities. Unbecoming is an intricately plotted, delicately nuanced heist novel with echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith. Scherm’s accomplished debut has won wide praise and comparisons to Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt.
On the grubby outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, and re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. Furtively, she checks her hometown newspaper online. Back in Garland, Tennessee, two young men have been paroled and Grace knows that once they are free, her life will not be her own.
Riley Graham was the charming, favored small-town son who made Grace his when the two were very young. Embraced by Riley’s family, especially his mother, Grace polished her role as surrogate daughter and idealized girlfriend. But she stumbles over a dark passion for Riley’s best friend, and flees Garland for Manhattan, NYU, and a seedy job with an art appraiser to pave her way into the competitive social scene. This leads only to dropping out and landing back home, broke and shaken. There, using her new skills and a knack for re-invention, Grace begins methodically to plan a robbery of a local historical museum with Riley and his friends. The heist goes bad—but not before Grace is on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in her bag, a new haircut, and a new name. And so begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels. Which part of her past will catch up with her first?
Unbecoming is a major debut novel of literary suspense about a small-town girl who dabbles in self-forgery even before being swept into the world of international art fraud—but then makes herself at home in a dangerous, dare-devil milieu far from everything she once knew.