The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

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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I received an ARC of this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Seraphina delves into the mysteries behind her mother's death and her own birth.  

I would love to read a sequel to find out what happens to the characters once they know their truths.
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Really enjoyed this book until the ending which I found silly, not what I expected..  I will recommend this to my patrons as I am curious as to what they might think.
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A young girl escaping a bad situation at home finds herself in a worse one when she signs on to become an au pair to a young well-off couple in a remote beach house estate off the English coast.  Laura truly loves being with the little boy, Edwin and gets along well with his parents but then secrets lead to more secrets which lead to tragedy.  Years later, after the death of their father, Edwin and his twin brother and sister begin to puzzle over what actually happened the night the twins were born and their mother threw herself off the cliff.  As they press people for more information, the threats begin and all those secrets start unraveling.  Dark and sinister with secrets as sharp and ragged as the coastal cliffs, you will be compelled to race through to the wow, yet tidy ending.  My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.
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The Au Pair by Emma Rous  is very well done gothic suspense novel.  It was hard to put down.  Not sure why the book is compared to  VC Andrews as the storyline doesn't have the creepy, evil factor that is prevalent Andrews' books. 

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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This caught my attention right from the start and kept it through the end. It is a story of Seraphine, a young woman whose father died right before her 25th birthday. After her death she found a picture of her seemingly happy  mother on the day of Seraphine’s birth, shortly before the mother committed suicide. The book  alternates between the present day Seraphine trying to figure out why her mother did that and the story of Laura, an au pair who was there the day of the birth. 

The characters were well-written and the plot moved nicely. I will look for more from this author.
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Family secrets abound in this gothic style mystery reminicent of a Phyllis A. Whitney novel.  Couldn't put this down!
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The Au Pair is amazing! I read it in a day because I couldn't stop reading it! I had to know what was happening in the story. I love how the story is told through two time periods and two specific characters. It flows so well even though it jumps back and forth through the years. This is a book that will definitely keep you reading late into the night! The characters are very well developed, and you'll definitely find a connection to at least one of them. I really was kept guessing throughout this book, and I was surprised by the ending. If you're a fan of suspense, add this to your lists!
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THE AU PAIR by Emma Rous was suspenseful from the very beginning.  I liked that the narrator switched between Seraphine and Laura. That stylistic quality added to the intrigue.  The characters are well-developed and defined.  I also thought the writing was good.


What I didn't like about THE AU PAIR  was that the narration was in present tense when Seraphine was narrating, even when the eventts were in the past.  I also didn't like the ending, and felt it was somewhat implausable.
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This is how The Au Pair by Emma Rous is described:

A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.

That is literally all I need to know. STOP. I want to read this and I know nothing about it. I think my ideal suspense/mystery/thriller would involve Hitchcock, Agatha Christie, and Patricia Highsmith but V.C. Andrews and Kate Morton is a good combination too.

Here’s what you need to know:

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day? One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.

I love a tangled family mystery and have high hopes for The Au Pair. Its receiving awesome reviews so far and people are staying way up past their bedtimes to see what happens next, always a sign of an excellent story.

This is due out in January 2019.
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This is a great read.  A family in a country house hires a nanny.  Many years later, the daughter, one of three children, tracks down the au pair she had as a child to unravel the mystery of her mother’s death.  Is she really their daughter?  Or the product of an illicit affair ?  Strange things begin to happen. Mysterious notes telling her to give up this quest appear.  Grandmother Vera doesn’t want to discuss it.  Lots of family tragedies - people falling to their death etc.  Never a dull moment.  And you’ll never figure out the ending.
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It's a compelling story, but the writing isn't all that great. I lost track of how many times the word "just" was used unnecessarily, but suffice to say that it was too many times.
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The Au Pair by Emma Rous is fabulous! Seraphine and Danny are twins. The day they were born their mom inexplicably commits suicide by jumping off of a cliff at their family home, Summerbourne. They were raised by their dad, Dominic, alongside their older brother Edwin. Now in their 20’s, their father dies and Seraphine returns home. While looking through her father’s things she finds a picture of her mom and dad and older brother. It was taken the day Seraphine and Danny were born but her mother is only holding one baby. Where is the other twin? Which baby is her mother holding? The story progresses from here, told in alternating chapters narrated by Seraphine and Laura, the 20 something au pair who stayed with the family the summer the twins were born. The mystery unfolds chapter by chapter and I could not put this book down. The conclusion was very satisfying. This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was definitely a page-turner that had me up until past my bedtime trying to squeeze in one more chapter. A complex storyline of who’s who. Only reason for the 4 stars is that I thought the ending was a bit tedious. Overall, a good novel.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley for an advanced e - copy of this book. I read this book in two days and enjoyed the dual time lines and perspectives. I guessed at the ending but still thoroughly enjoyed the story. I always appreciate books that do not contain explicit content and I feel more comfortable suggesting them to library patrons. I will be suggesting this book to many people!
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