The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I had a very hard time getting into this one, but i still gave it a try and i am so glad i did! If you are looking for a twisted family story... for a book that you wont know in advance what will happen and for a book that will surprise you. The au pair is the book for you! I lived seraphine! Loved how bold she was and determined!  Great read! Keep reading if you think the first pages are blah... It starts slowly but the pace gets much faster
Was this review helpful?
Super dark domestic thriller that had me guessing throughout, with a gothic feel that I just loved., perfect for reading in one sitting on a chilly rainy afternoon.
Was this review helpful?
Review limited to Goodreads due to two star rating.

I have to say that this book did not do anything for me. 

I found it formulaic and nothing about it stood out to me for quality above and beyond than what I have read in other books read. IMHO, it was just a very bland, dime a dozen work. If I didn't schedule to write it, I would push it aside for other books I am reviewing. 

As a result, I cannot recommend this book. Reviewed for publisher for honest review.
Was this review helpful?
There was much talk about changelings in the book and I honestly this was a sneaky supernatural book parading as a contemporary title. I won't tell you if I was right or wrong... As to the family mystery-holy cow. I kind of suspected SOMETHING related to it, but yeah, I was wrong! I liked how the alternating chapters ended up coming together in the end to the present day-which is something the author discusses in her note or Q&A section in the back of the book; I thought that was a pretty cool touch. It also made the book that much more interesting as there was not a lot of unnecessary "filler" narrative; it allowed the story to move quickly and keep the reader hooked long enough to read another chapter, then another until the end and you go 'well damn.'
Was this review helpful?
I love thrillers. There is no denying that.
The Au Pair was a fantastic read. It kept me guessing and wondering exactly what was going on the entire time. I seem to have a particular affinity for domestic thrillers with deep rooted family secrets and this book absolutely delivers on that front.
Definitely make some time if you decide to pick this one up because you won't want to put it down until you turn the last page.
Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to review this book!
Was this review helpful?
DNF at 10%. Good premise but after one page I knew I wasn't going to like this and I wished I'd been able to read an excerpt first. I was really surprised at how weak the writing was and the plot begins in such a forced, manufactured way I knew this wasn't for me. I pushed on for a bit because I was optimistic it would improve but there are way too many awesome books coming out this year to waste on something I know I won't like or recommend. Nothing new here to distinguish it from de la Pena, Shapiro, Ware, etc.
Was this review helpful?
Has anyone read this book by @emmarousauthor? I finished it this past weekend and feel like that reference is actually pretty true. The cover caught my eye last year and after reading the blurb, I had to read it, I had a feeling I might like it—I did, I loved it! .

The story is about a woman who delves into the mysteries of her family. Her mother jumped off a cliff the day she and her twin brother were born, the au pair fled, and talk in the town is that their Summerbourne estate is cursed. The deeper she digs, the more secrets, coverups and affairs she finds. .

Twisty, layered with scandal aplenty, this is a slow-burn gothic thriller worth the read.
Was this review helpful?
What an evocative and tangled story! I absolutely love British thrillers and especially a story set in and around an old house. ‘The Au Pair’ features both Summerbourne, the family’s remote country home, and Winterbourne, the city home. Both houses, but especially Summerbourne, play key roles in this wonderfully atmospheric story.

The story is told in the first person in dual timelines. Seraphine is the twin sister of Danny and younger sister of Edwin. Laura is the nanny who cared for Edwin when he was a young child. Seraphine discovers an old family photo when she is cleaning the house after her father’s sudden death. She finds a photo that was supposedly taken on the day she was born – yet there is only one baby in the photo! Is the baby her, or Danny? And what drove their young mother to kill herself on the day of the twins’ birth?

This is quite a premise and one that is wonderfully unraveled over the course of this intelligent and moody mystery. Seraphine is determined to track down Laura, the nanny, and find out what happened on the day of her birth. She immediately stirs up old emotions and her family begs her to stop digging.

“I stare at him. Is it true? How could I have hurt him and not known about it? The hairs on my arms rise, and the air around me seems to shift and relayer itself, as if Summerbourne itself is sifting through its memories.”

Seraphine begins to question everything and everyone she ever thought she knew and loved. What really happened that day? Each alternating chapter leads the reader closer and closer to the truth. It is hard to tell a great story in the first person but the author does so skillfully and with rising tension. As Seraphine grows closer to discovering the truth about her family, Laura is also telling the story of the young family and the circumstances leading up to the day of the twins’ birth.

I alternated between reading this book and listening to the audio and I adored the dual narration. I love when an entire mystery revolves around one seemingly small inconsistency and that is the heart of this book. Seraphine, who had been taunted as a child for being a ‘Summerbourne Sprite’, becomes increasingly paranoid as she gets closer to the truth about her family. I was completely taken aback but the ending but fell in love with all of the characters and the gorgeous English settings. ‘The Au Pair’ is a creative book, perfectly paced and beautifully narrated. If this is the author’s first novel, I cannot wait for the next. I highly recommend this one!

“The future hovered like a boat about to raise its sail, waiting for my next words, suspended between elements, tugged by guilt and love and desperation.”
Was this review helpful?
I usually have a hard time reading books on the ipad, but this one sucked me in from the beginning, and I couldn't stop. A legacy of cursed twins at a posh summer home in England is the set up for this twisty tale. Seraphine Mayes has never felt like she belongs to the family and finally gets to find out why. The ending is pretty convoluted but mostly believable.
Was this review helpful?
I received this as an advanced reader copy through Net Galley. This is my unbiased review. I generally like stories about the secrets families keep but for this one there was just so much going on that it seemed a bit convoluted. The writing is solid, it is a classic noir tale but the plot devices were just too much for me. It is not a bad read and it is only after I have finished that I can point to the weakness of the tale. It was still a challenge to figure out the end so for that reason I would recommend.
Was this review helpful?
On the whole, derivative of other thrillers on the market. Too many twists, too conveniently twisted, too little plot cohesion. As an example, one of the main characters repeatedly refers to her “work” and job, although we never learn what it is that she does (and she never appears to do it over the course of the entire book).
Was this review helpful?
I thought this would be more of a mystery but was really just a suspenseful story.  I like most of the characters except for Seraphina, I thought she was rather selfish wanting to pester people and not thinking a lot about her brothers opinions.  The ending was very confusing, not really a book I’d recommend to others.
Was this review helpful?
This is a compulsively readable, serpentine story about identity and deception. I rounded up to three stars because I was intrigued and wanted to see how it all came together at the end, but parts of the story are wholly unbelievable and the characters unlikeable. After the death of her father, Seraphine discovers a photograph in his desk which makes her question whether her twin, Danny, is really her brother, and just how she fits into her family. Told in alternating chapters by Seraphine and Laura, the au pair who was employed and present on the day of her birth, the details of the “mystery” unfold slowly. I was frustrated most of the time by how quickly these two women jumped into obsessive-like behavior - Seraphine suddenly questioning her place in the family after 27 years, and Laura’s fixation on Alex after just a brief meeting. There are too many details that don’t quite fit in this story, and too many relationships to sort through, and in the end, we are never sure about what really happened during key parts of the plot. Good, but not good enough to warrant more than two and half or three stars.
Was this review helpful?
I completely thought that I had this book completely figured out! I was so wrong. It was trying so hard to be a thriller but it turned into a cozy mystery instead. :)
Was this review helpful?
Told in alternating voices from two different timelines. The story started off strong but the ending was a bit of a confusing mess .
Was this review helpful?
To say this book was disappointing is an understatement. The writing itself was fairly uneven, often veering into purple prose. The characters were odd and flat; I never fully understood their intentions. Most of all, the plot is incredibly convoluted and set pieces are hilariously outlandish. A possibly spoiler-ish example: Vera, an incredibly posh octogenarian, wields a  b l o w t o r c h  at a concussed and bleeding Laura for several minutes, eventually setting her sweater on fire and no witness actually intervenes. Reader, I thought I was hallucinating.
Was this review helpful?
I requested this book thinking it would be more of a mystery/thriller, but felt it was of the growing domestic fiction genre which isn’t my favorite. I did however enjoy it more than most I’ve read. There were some plot holes and the two main characters became a bit tiresome towards the end at times. 

I’d give it a solid 3.5 stars. But for those who love this genre will find it quite enjoyable. 

Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny never knew their mother. On the day they were born she threw herself off the cliffs of Summerbourne on the Norfolk Coast.  Now at 25 she has just lost her father to an accident and while sorting through her father's belongings and comes across a photo taken on the day the twins were born. The photo shows her mother smiling and holding one of the newborns. Why was there just one baby in the photo and why would her smiling mother have committed suicide on that very same day?

Does the "au pair" Laura, who lived with the family while caring for older brother Edwin, about 5 at the time, hold the answer to these questions? Seraphine is obsessed with tracking down Laura and quizzing any one else who may be able to fit the mysterious pieces of the puzzle together.

This was a pretty good mystery, well-paced with each chapter seeming to bring a new question or new clue. The story is told in the present from the POV of Seraphine and the past by Laura, the au pair. The ending wasn't an entire surprise but I didn't figure out everything either. Overall, I was happy I read this one.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved this book.

My wheelhouse is typically YA fantasy or adult murder fiction, so this was a step outside my normal reading parameters, but wow I'm so glad I picked it up. I"ve actually worked as an au pair, and that was a major reason why I picked this book up. I came for the premise and stayed for the prose. This book is beautifully written and excellently plotted. The pacing is wonderful and I was never board reading it. It's well crafted and beautifully told. I had no idea how it was going to end, and that's always a huge selling point for me. 

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a good mystery in a believable world. I can't wait to see what's next for this author.
Was this review helpful?
This had a very slow start for my taste but after a bit I settled in and appreciated the depth of character-building and complex mystery. I will definitely be looking out for more by Emma Rous.
Was this review helpful?