Cover Image: The Au Pair

The Au Pair

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Member Reviews

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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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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