Indeed, the first chapter almost had me whimpering in potential weariness. The narrative was good, but it opens on a dinner party. A dinner party! Three couples sitting around a beef Wellington, discussing golf courses and court cases. They seem to be everything Bridget Jones dissected so fantastically well in her diaries - literally the sort of thing my nightmares are made of.
And yet in that first chapter you start to get the feeling that everything isn't as it seems. And that's what made me carry on reading. And I was so glad I did.
Behind Closed Doors is a modern cautionary tale, warning about the dangers of giving up ones identity after marriage. To the casual observer, Grace and Jack Angel have it all: good looks, beautiful house, plenty of money. But the casual observer doesn't know everything about Grace and Jack and as the story unfolds we learn all about their twisted home life.
So that's basically all the clues I want to give away about the plot because one of the reasons this book worked so well for me was because I knew nothing about it going in although I will say that the plot is exciting and there's plenty of action and twists and it had me hooked quite early on.
I liked Grace, a woman who embodies the maxim 'marry in haste, repent at leisure' but I didn't love her. In my mind, anyone who would give up a job they love to become a fifties housewife (no children) and sign over complete financial autonomy to someone else needs a poke in the eye. Despite this, she does at least show some proper regret at her hasty actions and never gives up or accepts her fate. And I liked how devoted she was to Millie.
This book is exactly the reason I go to a book club. It would never ever have popped up on my radar otherwise and I'm really glad I read it.