Study Guide

You Should Have Known Perception

By Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Of course a book called You Should Have Known is going to focus on perception—namely, how those perceptions clash with reality. The most obvious example is Grace's perception of Jonathan, who has been leading a double life for as long as she's known him. That said, her views on nearly every other character in the book—including herself—also undergo a serious transformation. For someone who once considered her perceptive abilities her superpower, Grace's reality checks throughout the novel bring her back down to the mortal realm.

Questions About Perception

  1. At the beginning of the book, Grace considers herself superior to other women who don't spot early warning signs in their relationships until it's too late. How does this perception change?
  2. Grace seems to think Henry is adjusting well to his new life by the end of the book. Are there any signs she should have noticed that would contradict her assessment?
  3. How do the reader's perceptions of Grace change throughout the book?

Chew on This

While Grace appears to be a competent, insightful therapist, her perceptions of almost everyone in her personal life are highly skewed.

You Should Have Known challenges readers to reconsider their own perceptions as the story unfolds.

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