Rebecca Scherm reads from "Unbecoming"

01/28/2015 7:00 pm

“From the first page, you know Rebecca Scherm is the real thing.”--Tana French

In a grubby antiques shop on the outskirts of Paris, Grace restores bric-a-brac, mends teapots, re-sets gems. She calls herself Julie, says she’s from California, and slips back to a rented room at night. From an anonymous internet café, she checks the website of her hometown paper.

Back in Garland, Tennessee, two young men are about to be paroled. Both have served time for a crime about which Grace knows a great deal. Their daring escapade went bad, but not before Grace made it onto a plane--contraband in her carry-on--and began methodically disassembling the known facts of her life. Now she knows that somehow, a piece of her past will find her. As the story unfolds, taking us from small-town USA to the heights and depths of the art scene in New York and Europe, we learn who Grace has been: a girl with a messy, broken home life and a knack for making herself loveable--until she comes face to face with what she actually wants, and everything falls apart. And so begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game, a tale of lies and deception, desperate stakes and dual identities.

Mesmerizing, atmospheric, and psychologically nuanced, Unbecoming reinvents the heist plot and takes up the making of a femme fatale—this time, from a woman’s point of view.

“Rebecca Scherm's wonderful novel Unbecoming has a mesmerizing narrator, Grace, who discovers that her gift (and it is a real gift) is for deceit. A thriller, a psychological study, and a love story, this novel is an unusually intelligent and suspenseful book. The dark arts have rarely been so brightly lit.”--Charles Baxter


Rebecca Scherm holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers Program at the University of Michigan, where she currently teaches. Her work has appeared in Subtropics, The Hairpin, Hobart, and Fiction Writers Review. Unbecoming is her first novel. Learn more at

Book List

Unbecoming (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780525427506
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Adult, 1/2015

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Read The Book Before You Read The Book


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Enon (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780812981773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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ISBN-13: 9781566892742
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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ISBN-13: 9780312428549
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador, 9/2009

Bad Want: Interview with Sean Bishop

"Writing did give me a means to grieve publicly, to make others aware of my loss, in a way that wouldn’t have gone over so well if I had just randomly stood up in the middle of a cafe once a month and proclaimed, 'hello, strangers, allow me to tell you about my dead father and how sad I am about it!'"


Sean Bishop talks about life, death, and Carson Daly. Bishop reads from The Night We’re Not Sleeping In on Friday, November 21, with poets Su Smallen and Kara Condito. Click here for more information. Click here for the complete interview.

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