The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I received  a copy of The Au Pair in exchange for an honest review, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Although a bit implausible, this is a fast and engaging read that keeps you turning pages and reading on late into the night just to see what happens next. With characters who may or may not be reliable narrators, twists and turns in the plot, and the inheritance of a once-glamorous old estate in the balance, this story has all the makings of a really good soap opera plot - one that even the biggest soap opera critics can't help but become invested in seeing through. As someone who usually rolls her eyes at such things, I have to say I'd highly recommend this one. Well done!
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Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Daniel were born on a fateful day in June 1992 at the family estate.  Later that day, their mother jumped to her death from the cliffs at the family home, the Summerbourne house.  Was it suicide or something more sinister?

Twenty five years later, and nine days after their father died from an accident, Seraphine has found pictures that were never seen before and are creating more questions than answers.  Before the accident, their father told them, along with their older brother Edwin that he has to tell them something.  

It appears that Laura, Edwin's Au Pair, was the one who took the picture that will thrust Seraphine into finding out the truth.  But at what price will the truth cost?

The plot had twists and turns throughout.  The characters believable but each one carried suspicion as to the lies that have been buried for so many years.  Betrayals, secrets, love, and heartache are felt within the pages of this story.

A book that had me guessing with each turn of the page.  An exciting read that I highly recommend!

Emma Rous is now on my "authors to read "list!
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Told in alternating timelines and perspectives, The Au Pair by Emma Rous starts out mildly intriguing and devolves into an overly complex and convoluted reveal. I enjoyed it on a surface level. Mostly because the characters where lightly sketched and given very little depth. Seraphine was the main character and driving force of the story, but I can honestly say I felt no connection to her or any of the secondary characters really. 

The mystery was sort of well done, but when the reveal occurred, I was left baffled. The series of events that led to it were strange and not believable. What are the odd? Very long ones.

It was a quick read, and a generally pleasant way to pass an afternoon. I've read better though.
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In this Gothic thriller, Seraphine is dealing with the recent death of her father and while going through his papers she finds a puzzling photograph. It is a picture of her family, but it's missing someone.  There is only one baby in the picture, and Seraphine has a twin brother.  This sets off a chain of events that, once started, can't be stopped until the final scene where everything is revealed.
Emma Rous has written a fast paced mystery that I couldn't put down, not even to sleep.  The twists and turns the story takes kept me on the edge right up until the final chapter, where you can't believe that it's over.  The characters are well developed and the writing is excellent.  I'll be recommending this book to everyone I know. 

I received an Advanced Review Copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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Great story that I didn't think I would like.  The whole faded picture and where's my twin hooked me in but the ending left me a little flat.  This could have been due to simply pacing as there are so many dead ends and wrong turns throughout the first three quarters maybe both reader and writer just got tired.  Nice work.
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This is a book that is difficult to put down! It is told from 2 voices---Seraphine, who wants to know who she is and Laura, the au pair 25 years ago. A tale of twins, superstitions, family ties, secrets, and death. Seraphine fins a photo of her parents taken on her birth day and it shows only one baby but she is a twin or is she? How come there is only one? The search for the answer brings turmoil, injury, and scary things. Read!
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What a tangled web! The dual storylines with Laura twenty-five years ago and Seraphine present day really works for this story. This book will keep the reader wondering throughout the story where exactly the author is going. The story gets very complicated toward the end but has a satisfying conclusion. Recommended!
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Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were born on a summer day at Summerbourne, their family home on the Norfolk coast. Hours after the home birth, their mother threw herself off a cliff. Now after the untimely death of their father, Seraphine discovers a photograph that makes her question her entire existence. Told between the narratives of Seraphine and the Au Pair, everything the Mayes family believed begins to unravel.
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I really enjoyed the way Emma Rous wove the threads of this dark family mystery between alternating generations, which allows you to become invested in the characters and their stories. Once I got a few chapters in, I couldn't stop reading!
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If you enjoy books that keep you guessing right up to an ending you never saw coming, this will be right up your alley.

Twenty-five-year-old Seraphine has always felt that she didn’t belong in her family. She doesn’t resemble her twin brother or her older brother. When she finds a family photo of the day she and her twin were born, their mother is holding only one baby. And shortly after that photo was taken, their mother committed suicide.

Seraphine’s father has died, and her wealthy, strong-willed grandmother refuses to talk about the day Seraphine’s mother fell to her death. The one person who may have answers is her older brother’s former au pair, Laura. But when Seraphine sets out to find her, everything becomes even darker and more complicated.

The tale unravels in chapters alternately voiced by Seraphine and Laura, the former documenting the present, the latter revealing the past. The characters and the location, a seaside mansion on the English coast, come alive.  Although a couple of coincidences felt too convenient, the overall resolution was complex and unforeseeable, making for a satisfying ending.

Four and a half stars.
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I was granted access by netgalley.com to an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This book was hooked my in the first few pages, and I had a tough time putting it down! Intriguing and suspenseful, I'll recommend to all lovers of psychological thrillers!
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Thanks for the early review copy!

I picked this because of the cover. It was a well written adult thriller, and I will be checking out more this author. I recommend this book to fans of adult mysteries and thrillers.
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Seraphine and Danny are twins. The day they were born, their mother threw herself over the cliff at their estate, Summerbourne. 20+ years later, their father dies in a tragic accident at home, and while Seraphine is going through his things, she comes across a photo of the family on the day they were born, but with only one baby in the picture. Seraphine sets out to discover which of the twins is pictured and why there's only one of them, but she gets more answers than she bargained for. Seraphine goes looking for the Au Pair, Laura, that her older brother Edwin remembers as being the one who took the picture. While searching for Laura they come across a man named Alex who was also part of this family's life before Seraphine's mother died. Laura and Alex are adamant that Seraphine stay away from them and Seraphine is left with even more questions. What really happened to their mother? Has everything Seraphine thought she knew about her family a lie? 

Full of shocking twists, intriguing mystery, and family secrets, if you're a fan of mystery thrillers you will not be disappointed in this one. My jaw dropped at the end because until secrets were revealed, I had no idea and I was completely taken aback! I definitely recommend!

I received an ARC of this novel from NetGalley.

This does not influence my review-all opinions are my own!
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Remember VC Andrews? Or are you a current fan of Kate Morton? THE AU PAIR is for you! This will seriously keep you up all night. I just HAD to know what would happen next and loved unraveling the delicious mystery. The back and forth timeline is handled expertly.  My one complaint is the role of coincidence; there are too many instances of "perfect" timing that strain credulity. Nonetheless, I would definitely read more by this author, especially when I'm in the mood for something suspenseful.
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THE AU PAIR – Emma Rous

Seraphine and Danny Mayes are twins born in mid-summer at Summerbourne, their family’s home. But something happened on the day they were born that haunts Seraphine especially. Their mother threw herself off a cliff shortly after their birth, leaving a four year old son, her husband, and the newborns. And the family’s au pair disappeared the same day. Now, another tragedy has struck. Seraphine’s father has been killed in an accident at the house. It’s several days after the funeral, and Seraphine is going through her father’s desk. She finds a photo taken on the day of her and her twin’s birth of her older brother Edwin and their parents, with her mother holding one baby. Edwin is pointing towards a young woman standing nearby. Why is there only one infant? Why do her parents look so happy when in a matter of hours, her mother will throw herself into the ocean? And who is the young woman?

So begins this gothic-like family mystery set in the English countryside. The villagers have all sorts of tales of what happened that horrific day, and why. But no one really knows for sure, and now, with her father dead, it’s unlikely anyone will find the answers. But Seraphine isn’t about to let the issue die. She ferrets out some answers from a few locals, and sets out to find Edwin’s au pair, Laura Silveira.

Although her brothers are somewhat curious, they do not encourage Seraphine with her investigation. Neither does their grandmother, a wealthy, domineering woman who is adamant that Seraphine cease looking for answers.

Laura Silveira has not had an easy life. It’s her stepfather who finds the au pair position for her in order to get her out of the house. Summerbourne is a quiet, curious home. Edwin is Laura’s charge, and his mother, Ruth, seems to drift in and out of life, one minute the devoted mother, the next letting Laura take charge. Dominic Mayes works in London during the week and comes home weekends, when he cooks, and spends time with his son. He and Ruth seem happy, but Laura senses something that she cannot put a finger on. Dominic’s good friend, Alex, has taken a cottage nearby and is a frequent visitor, even when Dominic is away. And then there is Vera, Ruth’s mother who appears, to Laura, to be the true head of the family.

Seraphine and Laura, from different decades, trade chapters as they tell this tale in their own words. Seraphine’s chapters are consumed with her need to find answers. Her grandmother won’t help, and her brothers support her, but prefer that she give up her quest. Laura relates her growing relationship with the Mayes family, their friends, and how much her life has, and will, change because of that relationship.

THE AU PAIR is a fantastic, mesmerizing story that kept me reading late into the night. Readers will not want to take a break from the onslaught of clues, red herrings, and sometimes frightening events that take place. As the tale hurtles to a conclusion, both Seraphine and Laura will discover answers they would never have dreamed.

THE AU PAIR is a Perfect 10 read for me. Don’t miss it!
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Very chilling book. It kept my interest from the beginning with the mystery of wanting to know more of the family's secrets.
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I really did enjoy most of this book, but I felt some elements of the plot were contrived and convenient.
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I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a page-turning psychological thriller. The author definitely kept me guessing. I appreciated that the author didn't feel it necessary to neatly tie everything up in a bow at the end.
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This novel takes place in 1991/2 and in the present.  Seraphine and Danny, the Summerbourne twins were born that winter.  Laura was their late Mother’s au-pair.  Each chapter deals with the story of each girl.  Seraphine’s mother died the day she and Danny were born and now, days after her Father’s funeral, she is searching for the truth about that year.  Laura is retelling her story about what did happen.  In the climax the truth comes out.  It is remarkably well written and the plots are well developed.  I would highly recommend this novel to anyone who is interested in Psychological drama.  Thanks to Net Galley and Berkley for an ARC for an honest review.
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Great story with interesting interactions between the characters. Complicated at times, keeping everyone straight, but really enjoyed the story.
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