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Unbecoming: A Novel Audiobook, by Rebecca Scherm Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Rebecca Scherm Narrator: Catherine Taber Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9780698188891
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A major new debut thriller about a small-town girl who charms her way into the world of international art fraud

On the grubby 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. Regularly, furtively, she checks the hometown paper on the Internet. Home is Garland, Tennessee, and there, two young men have just been paroled. One, she married; the other, she’s in love with. Both were jailed for a crime that Grace herself planned in exacting detail. The heist went bad—but not before she was on a plane to Prague with a stolen canvas rolled in

her bag. And so, in Paris, begins a cat-and-mouse waiting game as Grace’s web of deception and lies unravels—and she becomes another young woman entirely.

Unbecoming is an intricately plotted and psychologically nuanced heist novel that turns on suspense and slippery identity. With echoes of Alfred Hitchcock and Patricia Highsmith, Rebecca Scherm’s mesmerizing debut is sure to entrance fans of Gillian Flynn, Marisha Pessl, and Donna

Tartt. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Unbecoming is an assured exploration of the intricate, intense, risky processes that go into creating identity—and into dismantling it.”

    Tana French, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Place

  • “Self-assured doesn’t begin to describe the skill with which Rebecca Scherm develops her central character—Grace—and the tangled web she weaves, which is her life itself. It’s a completely compelling read from start to finish.”

    Elizabeth George, New York Times bestselling author of With No Witness

  • Unbecoming is the story of a heist, and especially what happens afterwards. No one thinks beyond the maps and the timetables and the moment of sale…but Rebecca Scherm has done just that, showing us the tense, suspenseful aftermath of an unraveled plan.”

    Karen Joy Fowler, bestselling author of The Jane Austen Book Club

  • “Intricately detailed and rich with art and deception, Scherm’s debut is a treat.”


  • “Scherm’s pulse-quickening debut follows crafty Grace as she flees a love triangle and a heist gone awry, leaving her husband and a friend—a man she secretly loves—to take the rap.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A suspenseful and terrific debut…recounted with convincing psychological insight and in rich detail. Unbecoming is a sorrowful coming-of-age story that blossoms into a cautionary tale—and then into something all its unsettling own.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “This lively debut combines a knotty coming-of-age tale and a high-society caper…Scherm is at her best when she is parsing the fumblings of a young woman trying to devise a persona in the world.”

    New Yorker

  • “Startlingly inventive.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Scherm mixes a character study with caper novel full of double-crosses, lies, and betrayals.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Catherine Taber’s gentle, feminine delivery adds plausibility to this debut novel, which intriguingly focuses on a character’s deceptions as two different people…Taber adds dramatizations to each flashback and easily shifts between the character Grace and her alter ego, Julie. As her voice continually changes to complement the intensity of Grace and the sweetness of Julie, the listener has fun is trying to figure out what to make of this complicated femme fatale…[A] mesmerizing story.”


  • A 2016 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee

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About the Author

Rebecca Scherm is the author of Unbecoming. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she was also a postgraduate Zell Fellow. She lives in Michigan, where she is working on her second novel, Beta.

About the Narrator

Brittany Pressley has won several Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in 2018. She has recorded over one hundred titles and has received several nominations for American Library Association’s annual list of Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults. She is also an accomplished singer-songwriter and voice actress. Her voice can be heard on national and international TV and radio commercials as well as several animated series and video games. She is a graduate of Columbia University.