The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for the opportunity to read The Au Pair before its release on January 8, 2019 in exchange for an honest, impartial review.  

Wow.  What a crazy, wild ride I just went on.  There was so much going on in the last part of the book I am still in shock.  Currently I am suffering from a book hangover, I’m sad this book is over and I just cannot pick myself up and move on just yet.

The premise of the story is about a wealthy family who lives in their grandmother’s home; The Summerbourne House.  This family is about to uncover a web of secrets that they aren’t sure they can handle.  When the “Summerborn Summerbourne” twins were born, there was a lot of mystery surrounding it.  To top it all off the mother killed herself on the day her twins were born.  Only picture from the day of their birth can be found and the mother is only holding one child; which one and why was only one in the photo?

Before any questions can be answered, the family is faced with another tragedy as their father suddenly and unexpectedly passes (albeit 25 years later).  Seraphine, one of the twins, takes it upon herself to find answers about the day of her birth by seeking out the only person who could have them, the au pair who was there that day taking care of her older brother. 

I did not see how this story was being played out.  We have an older brother and a set of twins and the author does a fantastic job at weaving the stories of the children in and out.  One cannot possibly guess what is going to happen with them until the very end of the book.  I could hardly put this book down.  So.  Much.  Happens.  At.  The.  End.  

I usually am a fast reader but at the end of this book I had to slow down to keep up with what was happening.  It all comes to the surface at once.  You have to brace yourself, take deep breaths, and prepare yourself for what Seraphine will finally uncover.  Have no fear when it comes to the end, The Au Pair treats us with a fitting ending and an even more appropriate epilogue.  YES! 

This is a must read, 5 star book.  It flips from the au pair telling her story in 1992 to Seraphine telling her story in the present day.  The puzzle starts to be put together, but, there are still key pieces missing until the very end which always makes for a great psychological read.  This definitely keeps you guessing and your brain will explode when the truth comes to light at the end of the book.  Wow.  I am just elated that we found out what really happened on the day the twins were born and what came of the truth being set free 25 years later.  Don’t miss out on this read!  

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The concept of this story is very interesting, I just wished that the plot had moved a little faster. I'm not sure that I really liked any of the characters, but I don't think that the writer really wanted me to like them. It was all rather improbable, hard to really connect with the characters. I have a hard time believing that a woman could be pregnant with twins and nobody noticed she was pregnant! I asked an American friend what gaining "two stone" meant to her, and she had no idea, so I suggest you change it to read 28lbs.
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Seraphine and her twin brother, Danny, were summoned by their father, Dominic, to the family’s country estate, Summerbourne, for their 25th birthday. He explained that he had something important to tell them. The day before the visit, Dominic was killed in an accidental fall from his roof. 

Seraphine’s mother, Ruth, had taken her life soon after Seraphine and Danny were born. Now Seraphine moved into the family estate and started sorting through their father’s papers. When she found a photo of her parents holding one child on the day after Seraphine’s birth, she was confused about why only one twin was present. The only other person who had been living at Summerbourne at that time was Laura, an au pair hired to care for Edwin, their older brother. Laura had been dismissed shortly after Ruth’s suicide and a series of nannies raised the 3 children. 

So Seraphine set out to find Laura using the Internet. She discovered Laura’s current workplace in London and tried to contact the older woman.  Laura’s immediate reaction was to flee but Seraphine followed her and eventually made contact.

Once the 3 siblings got Laura to talk, she & Alex, a longtime family friend, were able to expose secrets that had been hidden for 25 years.

The story is told in alternate chapters by Lauren in 1991 and by Seraphine in 2016. I enjoyed the story and my interest was kept until the very end of the book. I hope to read other stories by this first time author.
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So many twists! 
This is one crazy book. As it was I ended up reading the story in the middle of one of my busiest weeks. So I only got to read in bits and pieces and it was frustrating for me. I was chomping at the bit to tear into this story!

This story is very unique. Told from two different points of view, we are introduced to a twin who is confused and wondering about certain bits of her family history. On the other hand, we hear the story from the au pair who worked for the family because the mother was slightly unstable and delicate.

And what a story these two people told. From unexpected deaths to questionable accidents, my head was spinning several times! We also learned of suspicious activities, deep, dark secrets, and very interesting circumstances surrounding the twins in the family.

The author has created an intricate plot that made me go back a few times to re-read sections. With many twists and turns, we are kept off balance just a bit as we learn of this twisted family history. You have to read it to believe it.

Interesting and surprising in many ways, Emma Rous brings the unexpected to the mystery and suspense genre. Can’t wait to read more from her.
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This mystery/thriller will not disappoint. Seraphine is mourning the death of her father and lives in the family estate in Norfolk, UK. She is going through some old boxes. and comes across an old photo of her mother, but her mother is only holding one baby and Seraphine has a twin Danny. Also her mother committed suicide soon after she gave birth, and this looks like a family portrait with her mother, father and older brother, but where is the other baby? With both parents now deceased, Seraphine has to try and find out what mystery there was in her family. She knows that they were raised by an Au Pair and that her grandmother is still alive. There was always strange stories circulating about the twins and Seraphine knows that it is time she sought out the truth. 
The storyline is strong and flows well. A good mystery with an ending I was not expecting.
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This book was quite a wild ride! Seraphine is going through her father's things after his death, and finds a photo of the day she was born. But there is only one baby in the picture! Seraphine has a twin brother Danny. On the day they were born, their mother committed suicide. Where is the other baby and which one is in the picture? Their mother looks so very happy why would she kill herself only a short time later? These are the questions Seraphine wants answered. The story is told by Seraphine in the present and by Laura the au pair in the past. So many secrets and family drama both current and in the past, make this a page turner that is very hard to put down! I received an advanced readers copy from NetGalley and Berkley Books. All opinions are my own.
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I found this book very compelling up until the end, and though I won't give spoilers, I will say that I found it to be melodramatic at that point. Still well worth the read, but I found that the idea of what seemed likely had to be stretched a bit. Up until that point, I found it to be a page-turner and the description of being a cross between V.C. Andrews and Kate Morton is apt. (Which is saying a lot because I loooove Kate Morton books.) I would definitely read another by this author, hoping for an ending that seems to flow better with the excellent prior narrative. I received an advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
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After finding a disturbing photo taken 25 years earlier, Seraphine Mayes sets out to find the truth about the picture, her parentage and her mother’s suicide. This search leads her to Laura, the au pair who worked for her family when the photo was taken. Told from the alternating view points of Seraphine and Laura, the book follows what happened the year before Seraphine and her brother Danny were born and how those events are still impacting not only the Mayes family, but also the people who are connected to the family. 

The story was interesting for about two-thirds of the way and then began to slowly deteriorate. Laura’s explanation was totally unsatisfying and I had a lot of trouble buying into it. I was expecting more from the ending. 

My thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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This story had me hooked from the very beginning. 

I kept turning the page waiting for the other shoe to drop and figure everything out. It kept me guessing all the way through. Just the way I love them to do!

You’ll go through the whole range of emotions before you get to the end and when you get there, you’ll be exhausted. 

Things are never what they seem and how you see the past will impact how you see the present. Grab this book and take this journey to Summerbourne. It’s a wild ride!
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Without a doubt, this was one of the better books I have read recently!  The story was fantastic, and kept me guessing up until the very end.  Full of mystery and intrigue and suspense, I cannot wait until this comes out to share with my customers!
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THE AU PAIR by Emma Rous follows Seraphine, a young woman who stumbles upon a previously unseen family photo that makes her question who she really is. The photo shows her mother, who committed suicide not long after her birth, with one baby...but Seraphine has a twin. Where did the second baby come from? What unfolds is a mystery about dark family secrets, inheritance and adultery. I can’t say I loved the far-fetched ending, but this is a great page-turner.
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This book sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down. Told through the perspectives of two people in two time periods, the storyline was great but I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending. I also wish we understood the  wife in the story better. All in all a fun read.
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I love VC Andrews, and I read some comparisons to that author and this story, so I was interested in checking it out. While there were some unexpected twists, it just didn't quite work for me. (And I wouldn't really put it in the same category at VC Andrews.) I liked the alternating POV's, but there were a few too many coincidences or convoluted parts for my preference. Also, the ending seemed forced. The repetitive use of some words (such as "just") really stood out to the point of annoyance.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley, but I wasn't required to leave a positive review.
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This book is told from the viewpoint of Seraphina and Laura.  It travels between the present with Seraphina and the past with the au pair Laura.  After the death of her Father Seraphina finds a photo. It is her Father and her smiling Mother holding a baby. Hours later Seraphinas Mother commits suicide.  There are questions about the photo Seraphina wants answered. Why is her Mother holding only one baby?

This book had its moments but  it became hard to follow because there was so much going on.  This was a fair effort for a debut novel.  Thank you to net galley for an advanced readers copy.
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A well written and told story concerning three grown children. It is told in two parts. The present is told by the sister and the past by the Au Pair, of the older brother, leading up to the birth of the other two children. It concludes with the truth, or at least a version of the truth, involving the deaths of the parents and attempt on the life of the Au Pair. 

The story moved along smoothly and I found myself completely involved in seeking the truth. I have rated this book 4 stars.

I received an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
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An engaging and gripping reads, I would absolutely recommend The Au Pair for fans of domestic thrillers.
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This was a really compelling read. I found myself eagerly turning pages as the story alternated between Seraphine's account of present day and Laura's account of what was happening in the 90's, trying to puzzle out just how many mysteries needed to be solved by the final pages. 

This is definitely a story of adults behaving badly, where the people who are meant to be trusted because of their position or relation are even more fallible that one could imagine. But I loved seeing the world through Laura's eyes and Seraphine's quest to know who she is, because it feels like such a natural question in your early twenties beyond what gets added by mysterious photographs and weird village stories about your home and your family that have stretched across generations. And I loved the added element of the villagers gossiping about the house and the possible curse on the family- those are the kinds of extra oddball details that make the mystery all the more atmospheric. 

I didn't feel like some of the details of the eventual reveal came together felt particularly plausible- it definitely verged into soap opera territory, but I wanted to be entertained and I most definitely was. 

If you like stories about family and identity, and enjoy puzzling out domestic mysteries, then you'll have a lot of fun with this book.
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The Au Pair was a delightfully atmospheric book with a complex, well-thought out plot. The writing is excellent and I was equally interested in the past and present stories and found both Laura and Seraphine to be sympathetic, likable characters. I think I was expecting the cliché au pair/nanny story and was pleased that this book steered clear of that. The one hesitation I have--which would put my rating closer to 4.5 rather than 5 stars, is that one of the major reveals seemed quite unrealistic. I had a little trouble swallowing it from the outset and it seemed doubly unlikely as more was revealed, Nevertheless, it worked so well with the plot that I’m willing to overlook it for the most part. A highly recommended book! Many thanks to NetGalley and Berkley books for the e-ARC.
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Fun thriller and family drama with many twists and turns. Probably, other people would have figured out the mystery before I did (I've never been good at it!), but it definitely kept me turning the pages. 

This book follows Seraphine, a twin, after the death of her father. She finds a photograph of her mother and only one baby - is it her or her brother...and why is there only one twin in the photo? This starts her investigation: tracking down the person who took the picture, the au pair who cared for her older brother, and the question of just how and why her mother died the day the twins were born.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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How much of your history are you entitled to know? How much of your history is the previous generation entitled to keep hidden? Do you even know who you are? These are some questions that The Au Pair looks at, in a novel that goes back and forth between two viewpoints covering 25 years. It's a novel you won't want to put down until you've finished, containing twists you think you've figured out - until you realize that you really haven't. Highly recommended.
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