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Search tags: Behind-Closed-Doors
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review 2017-06-06 20:16
Even with the BS, pretty good!
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris

I had a good time reading Behind Closed Doors. Until about 80% in, that is. Then the BS factor jumped and I had a tougher time staying immersed in the story. The very ending, though, helped me feel better about the book again. I walked away feeling mostly good about the experience and still looking forward to reading the author's next book.

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text 2017-06-06 16:45
Reading progress update: I've read 78%.
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris

Calling bullshit on what's going on now. Been enjoying it for the most part throughout. A few spots of me yelling at Grace but stayed entertained. But right now, I have a hard time believing that Jack would be so agreeable right now. Don't want to say more in case of spoiling it for anyone else.

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review 2017-05-02 15:31
B. A. Paris: Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris

B. A. Paris takes a reader to a relationship that appears perfect but appearances are often deceiving:
 
Jack and Grace are the perfect couple, they do everything together and never want to be apart. He is a successful lawyer and she is an amazing house wife; they are the epitome of what True Love looks like. However there are some strange occurrences that go on in that marriage, like why Grace doesn't answer the phone or why she doesn't have a cell phone or when a lunch out with the girls, Jack decides to tag along. Sometimes the Perfect looking marriage, is the Perfect Lie

"Domestic Suspense" seems to be the genre of 2016/2017 as there are more books coming out with that as either their genre or tagline. I'm not going to lie I have read quite a few of these this past year and some have been successful and other not so much. It has gotten to the point I think where this "new" genre is getting a bit saturated and I'm now looking for something different in this genre and I think Paris delivers on that.

This is a debut novel, yes you read that right. I'm sure you have being hearing about this book as much as I had before I read it and for a debut it is extremely well done. "My perfect husband, My psychopathic husband" This sentence is what had me hooked from the beginning and set the tone for the book perfectly. So I guess you have already deduced that I really enjoyed this book and the format that Paris decided to use. I liked that past and present would get closer and closer to each other as you read further into the book, and you reach events that have just come to pass. However, it is funny though, as the book basically gives away the majority of its secrets right away yet I found that I could not stop reading it. I think this speaks to not only Paris' story telling ability but the way she developed her characters.

I think my favourite characterization in the book was of Millie. I have not read too many books where a main character has downs syndrome and Paris does a perfect job of showing her strengths, weakness as well as her understanding of the world and peoples around her. You can tell that Jack does not understand that mind of someone who has downs syndrome and that they have more knowledge and capacity than most people give them credit for. I think it was an interesting play between Jack and Millie with Grace being stuck in the middle.

When I began this book and you realize the situation that Grace is in, I thought it was to have BDSM with lots of dominating sex and that is how Jack was going to control Grace, so I was getting ready to put the book down, however, I was very wrong. Jack is very much the psychologcal controller and he does have a preverse sense of what turns him on, but there were no sex scenes in this book. I'm glad that Paris took this different approach as I think there are too many books now that head in to the BDSM area. Paris' approach with Jack's controllingness was pure straight out of a battered woman textbook (the psycholigcal part) but his overall goal was very unique and the amount of time he took planning it was a great feat.

I really enjoyed this book on so many fronts, and did not even mind that Paris gave some secrets away at the beginning, I just had to read on. For a debut, this is one of the best I have ever read. I'm still pretty shocked that this is a debut. Therefore, I cannot see what she comes out with next

Enjoy!!!

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review 2017-04-09 17:00
Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris,Georgia Maguire

 

 

The title, blurb, and first chapter of this book plainly lay out the situation its protagonist, Grace Angel, is in.  As far as the guests of Jack and Grace Angel's dinner party can tell, they are witnessing the perfect couple entertaining in the perfect house, serving perfect food and sharing stories about their perfect relationship.  Jack, an attorney with movie-star good looks, specializes in representing women suffering from domestic abuse.  He even shares he is eager for the day Millie, Grace's younger sister who has Down Syndrome*, turns 18, leaves her school, and moves into the house with Jack and Grace.  Grace seems dedicated to being the ultimate housewife and hostess, cooking flawless gourmet meals, painting, and gardening.  But from Grace's narration, it is clear that the perfection is a facade and that something else is going on below the surface.

 

The first-person narrative alternates between "Present" and "Past" chapters.  The "Past" installments reach back 18 months to when Grace first met Jack, while the "Present" ones carry forward from the night of the dinner party.  It becomes clear that the perfect house is a gilded cage.  Grace, upon accepting Jack's marriage proposal 18 months before, agreed to leave her job as a buyer for Harrod's, and "now" she is either in the house or, if she is out and about, she is constantly accompanied by her ever-attentive husband.  She doesn't have a cell phone or her own email account, and anyone calling for her on the house phone is usually told that she is unavailable.  Invitations for lunches either end up with sudden excuses not to show ("migraine") or Jack crashes the lunch.

 

My feelings about this book were all over the place; at times I felt I would give it a very low rating, while at others my opinion swung the other way.  The narrative propelled me forward so I "needed" to see how things unfolded.  Certain elements of characterization strained credulity for me (i.e. cardboard character-type character).  There were moments where I cringed at some over-explaining ("'I'm sorry,' I apologized.").  If this were a movie, it would be an old-school "woman in jeopardy" Lifetime movie (and I see that others have drawn that comparison in reviews).  Or if it were made into a feature film in the 1990s, Julia Roberts would have played Grace.

 

One of the things I found interesting was that there were elements in the opening chapter that did not make full sense until later in the narrative, so I found myself going back and rereading the opening after I was done.  I also read the closing chapter twice.  The fact that I wanted to do that increased my estimation of the novel somewhat.

 

As others have pointed out, this book is not another Gone Girl or Girl on the Train.  It is much too cards-on-the table for that type of comparison.  It is compulsively readable/listenable. (Although I primarily listened to the audiobook, I also checked out the print book to review parts I'd listened to, and I ended up reading the last 10% or so in print.)

 

*The book keeps referring to this as "Down's Syndrome."

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text 2017-04-07 02:58
Added this book... As [nearly] always
Behind Closed Doors - B. A. Paris,Georgia Maguire

::grumble::

 

I'm about to sound peevish.  I am listening to this audiobook.  I downloaded it from my library's electronic collection, as an mp3 audiobook.  When I entered the ISBN number into Booklikes, the edition didn't exist here yet.  So I added the edition.  I like to shelf the actual edition that I am listening to or reading.  I access this particular format very often.  And it seems as though at least 95% of the time, this means I need to add the edition myself.  I am just a bit weary of it.  It would be so nice if I could just enter the ISBN, and it would be the other way around--and needing to add the edition myself would be the small exception.

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