Cover Image: The Au Pair

The Au Pair

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Member Reviews

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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While THE AU PAIR touts itself as a psychological thriller, there wasn't really much thrilling about it. I wasn't terribly invested in the mystery of Seraphine's parentage, and I wasn't terribly interested in how Laura the au pair played into everything. The narration is split between Seraphine's quest to find out who her parents are, and Laura's time at Summerbourne as she cared for the oldest son Edwin and interacted with Ruth. I found most of the characters to be pretty lackluster to downright unlikable, and while there were rumors of changelings and fairies in the town it didn't have much pay off. I also found the ultimate solution, while well crafted, to be a little convenient with the perfect storm of errors that had to happen for it to be pulled off. At the end of the day, this read more like a family drama a la Kate Morton, without the sudsy or sinister undertones of V.C. Andrews.

THE AU PAIR was disappointing, but I think that it may be more because of my own tastes and interests. People who do like books like this will probably find much to like. I, however, did not.
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I’ve always loved grand, gothic novels, where the stories take place in English countryside manors filled with secrets to unravel and mysteries to solve.  When I started reading this next book, I was intrigued by its comparison to Kate Morton’s novels and wasn’t sure it would hold up…

Twenty-five year old Seraphine Mayes has grown up at the Summerbourne estate in Norfolk with her twin brother, Danny, older brother, Edwin, and their father.  When their father passes away suddenly, Seraphine and her brothers are left to sift through his belongings, which is how she comes across a picture of her father with Edwin, and her mother holding one baby.  The note on the back of the picture says it was taken the day her mother had committed suicide, and yet her mother looks so happy in the picture.  And the bigger concern for Seraphine is why there is there only one baby, if her and her brother Danny should’ve both been together?  Which baby is her mother holding, and where is the other twin?  Told between Seraphine’s current day hunt to understand the past, and Edwin’s au pair from 25 years before, I was reeled into this story from the start and could not put it down.  Lots of twists and turns that need attention so the reader can keep tabs on everyone, but very worth it in the end.  Best book I’ve read in a while!
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The Au Pair, told in dual perspectives by Seraphine, in the present, and Laura, in 1991, when she was an au pair to Seraphine's brother, Edwin.

Seraphine discovers a photo from the day she and her twin brother, Danny, were born, but why is there only one baby in what appears a happy family photo? And why did Seraphine's mother commit suicide a short time later? As Seraphine digs into the past, someone is warning her to stop...but who and why? Read this fast paced mystery to find out the answers to all of Seraphine's questions; I think you'll be as shocked as I was when the truth is finally revealed. 

The Au Pair, is the debut novel of author, Emma Rous, and I look forward to reading her future books.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced copy.
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"We all did bad things..."

This is a complicated and completely absorbing mystery/drama about family. It's told from the point of view of two different narrators: Seraphine Mayes in the present day and Laura Silveira from the past. 

The set-up reveals that 25 years ago Laura was working at Summerbourne as an au pair to Edwin Mayes, the 4-year-old son of Dominic and Ruth. Laura initially enjoys her new job and settles in with the family quite easily. Ruth is a bit temperamental and Dominic is gone off to work away from the estate quite often. Ruth longs for another baby and she soon becomes pregnant. That's when everything falls apart. Almost immediately after she gives birth, Ruth commits suicide by jumping off a cliff leaving behind twins -- a boy and a girl -- to be raised by their father, Dominic, and their maternal grandmother, Vera, who owns the manse. Laura, who helped Ruth give birth, leaves Summerbourne that very day.

Flash forward -- Dominic has recently died in an accident and while Seraphine (the twin daughter) is going through some papers, she finds a photo of her parents, with Edwin, and with her mother holding only one infant. The photo was taken on the day of her birth. She's very confused about the picture and has questions about what really happened and is concerned about the fact that her mother is holding only one baby. So she determines that she will find Laura to get her answers. What ensues is quite the story and I'll give no spoilers here.

I was quite surprised to find myself entranced with this family and the saga. I'm not saying that I didn't have suspicions that proved accurate as far as what had gone on, but it was all so well-written that I was happy to let the revelations come at their own pace. The characters were interesting and complex and their relationships described in such as way as to make it all believable even as fantastic as it was. The somewhat gothic tone, the tales of sprites and curses, as well as the close-knit nature of the villagers -- and who isn't interested in a story about ill-fated twins? I think it's best to read this in one sitting, if possible, as there are so many people and details to keep straight! 

I really enjoyed this debut and I'd like to thank NetGalley and Berkley (Penguin Random House) for the e-book ARC to read and review. Recommended!
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This one was really great. It reminded me of books by Diane Setterfield and Kate Morton, and I loved it. The ending was a little far fetched and a tiny bit confusing since there were so many pieces, but overall great book, great story, great characters.
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Loved this book.  Family secrets to unravel, but when they are your own do you really want to know?  This is the question that begs to be answered.  She always felt out of place in her family and when her grandmother wanted to leave the family home (where she was living and he was traveling the world) to her brother she begins to wonder who she is.  As the story of family secrets unravel, it recreates a whole new and expanded family.  No one  knew the truth except for the Au Pair.
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The Au Pair by Emma Rous was an entertaining read. The storyline flowed well and the characters were quite interesting. This is a new author for me. I intend to read her again.
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With family falling apart after the death of their father Seraphine starts to wonder about why their Mother would commit suicide on the day she gave birht. The more questions she asks, the more dangerous things become for her. Can the Au Pair that worked for them that summer help her find answers? A story of family secrets and how far people will go to keep the secret.
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Having grown up as a twin, I love to read books about characters who are twins. This new thriller by Emma Rous is a twisty, twin tale that is full of surprises. The story begins with Seraphine and her quest to discover the truth about a photo she finds from the day of her birth. The photo had been taken by the family's au pair (Laura). We view the action in past and present story lines, the present being Seraphine's story and the past one is Laura's. As the truth emerges, danger lurks and it is hard to know if anyone is trustworthy.  A dark tale of family intrigue that will keep you up late to see what happens next.

Thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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The Au Pair is a delicious, old-fashioned mystery complete with a gothic setting and a clever plot puzzle that just begs to be solved.

While not exactly a psychological suspense type story, I found it to be just as page-turnable as any thriller. I thought I had most of the puzzle figured out, but it is a bit complicated and I could never work out one piece of the puzzle. That piece, indeed, turned out to be the biggest reveal at the end.

If you are an Agatha Christie fan at heart, you will adore this haunting and lovingly told cozy mystery. Also, perfect for fans of Rebecca and The Death of Mrs. Westaway.
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I think I entered into reading this book with a misconception. I was thinking it was a mystery/thriller. It definitely is a mystery but it is a lot more than that.

When Seraphine’s father dies suddenly of an accident, she stumbles upon s photograph that starts her down a path that will change everything she believes about her family.  It is a picture of her mother, father and a baby on the day she was born.  It is also right before her mother kills herself. The problem is, Seraphine is a twin. Why only one baby? As she searches for the truth, we are also given the backstory of Laura, the au pair who came to stay that year to watch the oldest son Edwin. The Summerbourne  manor holds lots of secrets and Laura is right in the middle of them all.

This is a wonderful book! It slowly unfolds to the reader in a very delectable way. As secrets are revealed, your mind will start spinning in a lot of directions. You might have it figured out, you might not. (I had some but there were some great surprises!) This is the author’s first novel and what a way to debut into the world. I look forward to many more!

Thanks to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing for an advanced copy of this wonderful book.
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A young woman attempts to find out more about her mother's suicide, which occurred hours after she and her twin brother were born.  Warned away at every turn,  Seraphine might regret unearthing the past.

Too many coincidences and craziness turned me off, but readers who like their thrillers on the outrageous side will likely enjoy the ride.
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Gothic mystery at intrigue at it's finest. 

Alternating perspectives and timelines here flow seamlessly and enhance one another. When Seraphine Mayes loses her father, she looks at old family photos and spots an unknown woman - identified as a former Au Pair of her older brother. When Seraphine starts asking questions, a lot of people seem to want her to stop, but why? What secrets are buried here and who doesn't want them coming out? I certainly enjoyed finding out and recommend you find out for yourself! What you find may shock you!

I received an advance copy. All opinions are my own.
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The premise is intriguing...coast of England, a brother and a set of twins, and mom falls off cliff on day of twin's birth leaving many secrets behind. The story switches back and forth between Seraphine, one of the twins, in today's world and Laura, the au pair from the past who was present the day of their birth. The first half was compelling reading, as in I did not want to put it down. However, the last twenty percent got a little ridiculous and long-winded for me, with some pretty implausible 'solutions' to complete the tale. Beach read that will keep you reading...yes. Will it satisfy you? Questionable. However, as a debut writer I do think Emma Rous has good potential - the story is plotted well, the characters are intriguing, and the twists are definitely there. Just needed a better grounding in reality with me, and a tighter wrap-up.
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I really enjoyed this book up until the end where I feel like it got a little unrealistic.... There was suspense and family drama which held my interest. I was given an arc of this for my opinion..
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I was expecting a thriller much like all the others I've read recently when I started The Au Pair. I was pleasantly surprised and was pulled into this story from the first page. After I finished, I read the synopsis. If V.C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a book baby is a very telling description! Emma Rous is a breath of fresh air into the genre! I can't wait to read what she next writes.
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I had trouble breaking into the world of this book - at first. But once I did, I was very curious and very driven to figure it all out, just as the characters were. Told in two times, from two perspectives - today, via Seraphine, yearning to know who she really is; and back 'then', via Laura, Au Pair moving through the surprisingly volatile world of being a full-time nanny, before Seraphine is born. I found much of the reveal a bit difficult to digest, but I suppose it could be possible? The whole book felt a bit like it'd been done before, but was okay for a kind of suspense novel.
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