The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

Loved it - could not stop reading. The story is told by two different narrators but is easy to follow and very suspenseful. Will recommend to my Ruth Ware readers.
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The Au Pair was an unexpected intriguing read that I couldn't put down! 

I found The Au Pair listed as a highly anticipated read of 2019 and then I read the blurb and I knew I needed to read this story! The beginning was slow to hook you, but once it did it slowly took you under it's spell and consumed you.

The plot and the uncertain identities, the feel of someone after you and watching your every move will have you on the edge of seat and on the edge mentally. I thought I had things figured out, but then something would happen to make me question everything! I found myself talking to co-workers and explaining the story to them so that they could help me work this out. (Hint: they were clueless)

The Au Pair told in two points of views and dual timeline. I enjoyed how we were given just a morsel of the story at a time and how when we are reading we are uncovering the story right along with Seraphine. Learning what really happened that summer at Summerbourne was utterly spellbinding.

The entire story was wrapped up beautifully. My only negative thought on this book was that we didn't get a happily ever after. I realize that The Au Pair in NOT a love story, but that doesn't stop my hopeless romantic heart from begging for love story from the pages.
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After her father's sudden death, Seraphine decides to investigate her mother, Ruth's, suicide 25 years earlier by tracking down their family's former au pair. Will Laura be able to answer her questions? Or, will she create even more?

While reading, I had fun trying to guess what happened to cause Seraphine's mom to commit suicide on the very same day she birthed her twins, Seraphine and Danny. Did their family friend, Alex, have anything to do with it?

The end was a bit confusing (trying to figure out who was who), but overall I found this debut suspenseful and entertaining. I enjoyed the author's writing style and look forward to more from her.

Location: London and Summerbourne, England

I received an advance copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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"If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous' The Au Pair would be it.

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 smiling serenely and holding just one baby.

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?"

Usually if a book is compared to another author I love I'm leery... but the combination of Kate Morton with V.C. Andews has fascinated me in this case!
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I have just finished The Au Pair by Emma Rous and absolutely enjoyed the twists and turns of this modern day tale of family secrets!  When a family Patriarch dies he leaves behind his grown children trying to piece together their murky beginnings.  Spurred to action after finding a picture showing their mother holding just one baby in a happy family photo hours before plunging herself off a cliff they start asking questions. Threatening letters and suspicious deaths combine with local village lore about the ill-fated Summerbourne twins.  Can the Au Pair that resided with them that summer so long ago provide the answers they seek?  I highly recommend The Au Pair!  I received an ARC of this book, all opinions are my own.
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Wonderful English mystery, with just the right amount of Gothic undercurrents to keep the reader on the edge of her seat!
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Give me book with a seaside English manor filled with family secrets and dysfunction -- and I will gladly read it!  This was a pretty good thriller told in two time periods about the history shared between the Mayes family and their nanny, Laura.  I enjoyed it
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25 year old Seraphine, her twin brother Danny and their older brother Edwin are mourning the sudden loss of their father in an accident when they come across a picture from the day the twins were born. It's a photo of their parents with only one baby. Seraphine is excited to see the picture because their mom died by suicide later that same day so it's the only picture she has of their mom with...her? Or her brother? It also raises some questions for her about why only one baby is in the picture. As she tries to unravel the details - she starts by looking for the person who took the photo, Edwin's au pair at the time, Laura.

From there, the story is told in alternating timelines between Seraphine in the present working to discover more about what really happened the day the twins were born/their mother died and Laura the au pair in the months leading up to that day. 

The book started off a little slow for me but by around the 4th chapter, I was fully hooked. I was really interested to discover how everything was going to come together in the end and I enjoyed both the current and past storylines. Often in books told in two timelines I find myself rushing through one to get back to the other but I was equally invested in both and couldn't put it down.

Unfortunately, I found the ending overly convoluted - the reveals start about 75% through the book because it takes the last quarter to work through all the pieces. For me, the payoff of the ending didn't live up to the middle of the book. I enjoy a good twist - but sometimes too many twists makes for a confusing and unrealistic reveal. With a less convoluted ending, this would have been a solid 4 star read for me. 

Thank you to netgalley and Berkley Books for the advance reading copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I received this book in exchange for an honest review which has not altered my opinion of this book.

I'm going to be straight, I did not finish this book. I dnf-ed it at 32% of the way through. The reason for this is because I didn't get the point of the story. The main character in the modern setting annoyed me so much because there was no solid reason as to why she went and disturbed so many people as she did. I felt that she only investigated out of her own ego and I think it was incredibly selfish. I felt bad for the other characters and I really don't care what happened in the past. Although, the guesses I have made tend to make me roll my eyes.

That being said, this is not the type of book that I generally get into, familial friction is not something that I read about a lot. This may be a great book for someone else, but it really just didn't catch my attention at all. I recommend if you enjoy contemporary drama and fiction and affairs and mixed up children.
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What a great book!  I have thoroughly enjoyed reading The Au Pair. 

The story is told by two of the main characters in alternating chapters.  The story takes place in two time periods – 26 years apart.  It might take the reader a little while to feel comfortable with the cadence of the story, but once you do, the two periods flow together quite nicely. 

The plot is well-developed and it slowly reveals the story of a family with secrets and heartache.  One of the main characters, Seraphine, becomes obsessed with discovering exactly what happened the day she and her twin, Danny, were born.  Her search for answers reveals much more than she ever anticipated.  The conclusion, while somewhat hard to believe, is nevertheless satisfying and well-done.  

I enjoyed The Au Pair and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written, modern gothic mystery.  

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book for review.
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The Au Pair was an interesting and fast paced story!The story is told in alternating timelines and takes place in a small English town. The setting was perfect and I love the mystery around the story!

The plot was perfect and the writing flawless, I enjoyed most of the story.However, the ending was ok in my opinion.I was a little confused in some parts closer to the end and the ending felt a little bit over the top for me.

Overall, it was a unique story and I'm looking forward to read more books from Emma Rous!
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THE AU PAIR was just the right amount of family dysfunction that I love. I’m an avid Paternity Court watcher so the drama amongst this affluent family really kept me entertained.
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I loved the storyline and the English seaside setting with the cliffs. The setting was just as much a character as the people were. Although I figured out the plot twist pretty early on, I still found this to be an enjoyable, suspenseful read with a satisfying ending. 

Many thanks to Netgalley, Berkley Books, and Emma Rous for my complimentary e-copy ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I always enjoy a good story that joins the past and the present, and I love dark family secrets!  Overall, this was a good story of discovering said dark family secrets.  There were a few good twists in the telling, but I didn't feel truly attached to any of the characters.
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A gothic mystery thriller that was a good read in the cold winter season.  Twins Seraphine and Danny were born and shortly thereafter their mother committed suicide.  When their father passes away they are cleaning out his things and stumble upon a photo that leaves Seraphine questioning everything that the adults in her life have told her, so she must do some sleuthing and get to the bottom of it all.  

This was one of those books that I loved the atmosphere and the story, but there characters were just ok for me.  They were fully realized and written ok, but I just couldn't get to the point of liking any of them; this affects my reading, but I can still like a book despite not liking a character.  The atmosphere of this book is what really sold me on it.  On the coast of England with cliffs and houses with mystery areas, the author made the setting come to life and I fell in love with how she described where all of this drama took place.  

The story/plot were great.  There are twins in a family lineage where twins have been doomed to not survive.  There is a nanny that you can't trust from day one.  There is a mother who dies within hours of giving birth which seems weird and on and on.  The drama was packed from the beginning to the end and it made the story read so quickly.  

This was a solid debut from Emma Rous and I would read more from her.
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A story of loss, betrayal, love and family that captures the heart from the very first til the end. There is suspense of having to rearrange the family tree a few times, and the surprise twist that loved ones are not who we think they are. Fast paced and well written! Truly a must read!
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This was a pretty decent thriller. It flips back and forth from the Au Pair's perspective in the past to the main character Seraphine. Seraphine has always felt that she doesn't fit into her family as she should, so she goes searching for the answer to "Who am I really?" What she finds out along the way deals with mental illness, a father she thought she knew, and a seriously messed up family dynamic.
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The boo starts off slow. It takes a while for the characters to develop, but it all makes sense when it comes together at  the nd of the novel.
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The Au Pair Will keep you guessing until the very end when all is revealed. Even when I knew the truth I still questioned myself—such a well written book. The characters were well written and likeable, and the plot felt very original.

I received an advance copy of this book. All thoughts are my own.
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This was a slow moving book for me.  I persevered and finished.  It wasn't the gripping thiller I was looking for, but it was ok.
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