The Au Pair

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 08 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

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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Talk about family drama, yikes!!  Oh man, I loved it all! This is a debut novel and I cannot believe it, so so good.  The father of twins Danny and Seraphina, and their older brother Edwin has recently passed away due to a sudden accident, and their mother committed suicide shortly after the twins were born.  While going through his belongings, Seraphina finds a photo that is suspect to say the least, and she begins to question everything about their birth.  She tries to find the Au Pair that was helping their mother with Edwin before they were born, and from there things begin to unravel and Seraphina starts questioning everything she thought she knew since she was a child.

I could NOT put this down, I had to know what was going on.  And of course, all of my bright ideas were just flat out wrong.  So you can probably discern that this is a dysfunctional family, and that Laura, the au pair, has some secrets of her own, but how the author weaves everything together to make it work is fantastic, and just overall very well done.  The book is told from two POVs - Seraphine's in the current day, and Laura's from back then. This makes for a very interesting narrative, but it really works for this story.

There are a couple of subplots going on, and without spoiling anything, we are trying to figure out if the mother's death is as it seems, the twins are who they think they are, and who knows what but isn't saying?  Oh, and throw in old folklore that has been going around for years regarding the original family that owned the land who made some bad deals and as a result bad things happened to his twins.  So, from then on, as legend would have it, any set of twins living on said land were 'doomed', which may or may not be occurring...

I was not sure how this would go, and although perhaps it veered a tad out there with the final explanation, it is fiction after all and therefore I went with it.  Like I said, I was not expecting the story to go this way, and it was a nice change for me.  The pacing was steady, and just overall a great read that I knocked out in about two settings. I will absolutely be recommending this one when it comes out on 1/8/19.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkely for the electronic ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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25 years previously, something bad happened at the Summerbourne Estate, when twins Danny and Seraphine were born. When Danny and Seraphine's father dies, Seraphine finds a picture of her mother she has never seen before, which starts Seraphine on a journey to discover what happened 25 years ago and the one person who might be able to give her the answers she needs is the Au Pair.
This story is told in dual narratives, present day Seraphine and 25 years in the past with the Au Pair, Lauren.  The dual narratives worked very well in this setting and developed a well laid out and descriptive story. This was a page turner and I loved every minute of it. 
I only wish the final reveal was a little more developed. It seemed to happen very quickly and I had to read that section a couple of times to figure out all the nuances. But maybe that was intended. 
Great mystery.
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The premise of The Au Pair pulled me in right away. A woman throws herself off a cliff behind her isolated estate the night she gives birth to twins. And now, 25 years later, her daughter, Seraphine, wonders what led her mother to the edge of that cliff and whatever happened to the au pair–what does she know?

I agree there were certain V.C. Andrews elements to the plot. The story switches back and forth from Seraphine’s present day perspective to Laura’s ( the au pair), 25 years earlier. Laura has been hired to keep an eye on Edwin, whose twin toddled off the side of the same cliff behind his house. So she has to really watch him as his mom is a bit of a mess. 

So just the fact that Seraphine has a twin–Danny, and Edwin had a twin is a  little weird,  but I guess those types of things do run in families? And the mom isn’t a hot mess, she is just sort of absent-minded and random. And she has a “friend” who visits a lot and she has kind of weird relationship there. 
From this point in the story, things start to get going. There are love triangles or squares and secrets and lies. And I really couldn’t figure any of it out on my own. I’m not sure if it was because some of it was just that random or if the author did a great job of eluding me. 

I’m giving it 3.5 stars. Not because I didn’t enjoy it, because I did. And I loved the mystery. But in the second half of the book, the mystery threated to run away with itself and I would have liked to identify more with at least one of the characters. Good story, but I wasn’t emotionally attached. 

Special thanks to Berkley Publishing Group and Netgalley for an e-galley in exchange for my honest review. The Au Pair was also a January 2019 IndieNext Selection, so don’t just trust my opinion, check it out! This one is out January 8, 2019.
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This was a fast paced complex domestic suspense. I was immediately intrigued with the family and their secrets and atmospheric home of the Summerbourne. The ending was really good but packed with stories of the past and present. that slowed the pace some but it was still enjoyable.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Books for this copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Rating: 3.75/5 stars. 

A family-centred mystery for readers who enjoyed Emma In The Night by Wendy Walker or The Death Of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware. 

Emma Rous’s debut novel follows a young woman named Seraphine Mayes who is desperate to learn more about the circumstances surrounding her mother's’ suicide and her own family history. 

Only hours after Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were born on the Mayes’ family’s elegant English estate, their mother jumped from the cliffs behind their home. More than two decades later, after the passing of the twins’ father, Seraphine decides to track down the au pair, Laura, who lived with the family when she was born. What she uncovers is a family secret that spans decades and includes a variety of mysterious and sometimes sinister characters. 

Told in alternating points of view between Seraphine and Laura, The Au Pair explores tense family relationships, a gossipy small town, and utter mayhem of child-rearing. The most intriguing plotline in the novel isn’t Seraphine’s search for her identity, but rather Laura’s experiences as an au pair, and in particular her relationship with the Mayes’ family’s eldest son, Edwin. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming and sometimes painful relationship between child and guardian that’s perfectly written and deeply emotional. Laura, only a teenager herself, has to grow up quickly living with a family who aren’t what they seem and an employer battling her own demons. 

If you’re an adamant realist, The Au Pair may not be the ideal book for you. Rous’s storyline requires readers to suspend disbelief at times, but ultimately pays off in its ability to shock and surprise them. With a hauntingly beautiful setting and a relatable leading character desperate two know more about who she really is, The Au Pair is likely to make “Best Beach Reads of 2019” lists everywhere. 

Several plot twists and surprises are rather easy to see coming, but others will genuinely catch readers by surprise. Although some loose ends are tied up in a way that may be a bit of a stretch, The Au Pair’s ending is a generally satisfying and clean one. You won’t walk away from the book feeling like something was missing or unclear. 

In a literary market saturated with domestic thrillers, it's hard for a writer or story to stand out. The Au Pair, while a fun read, isn’t likely to break records as the best thriller of the year. But with a unique plot and likeable characters it is a fun and worthwhile read for anyone who enjoys this kind of novel. With two (complicated) love stories as subplots, The Au Pair will also appeal to any readers who crave romance. 

Emma Rous, a Cambridge graduate who practiced veterinary medicine for almost two decades before turning to writing, is a talented author and definitely someone to watch out for in the coming years. The Au Pair, while not perfect, is a strong literary debut and a book that is sure to please its readers.
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The Au Pair by Emma Rous is a twisty tale of family secrets and murder. Seraphine and her twin brother, Danny, as well as her older brother, Edwin, have gathered together at their childhood home following the sudden and accidental death of their father. A previously unseen photo that Seraphine discovers leaves her pondering exactly what happened on the day she was born and her mother died. The mysteries unravel as Seraphine digs into her past.  A quick and entertaining story. Read and enjoy!
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As I sit to write my review of Emma Rous' The Au Pair, I'm realizing this is going to be a complicated thing for a book that I devoured in three days. 

Why? Because everything in the book is fraught with such balance, such breathless anticipation of the next big reveal, such moments of shock and awe. I'm terrified I'll spoil something and this is a book people need to read, to talk about, and to discover the heart of.

So please forgive my vague words when it comes to the plot itself, you'll thank me in the end. I promise.

The Au Pair is told from two perspectives - Seraphine in modern day, present tense and Laura in 1991, past tense. Laura is the au pair, nanny to the Mayes family that lives in coastal Norfolk. Seraphine is born while Laura is employed there. Seraphine, as an adult mourning the recent death of her father, begins to look into the things that have always bothered her about why her family, even after her mother fell from a cliff hours after she and her twin brother were born, has never seemed quite right.

What unfolds in Seraphine's search for answers and Laura's telling of the past is a story of love, mostly unrequited, a story of family, that doesn't follow the strictest definitions of such, and of friendship, because the lines between family and friends can blur even in the darkest moments.

For part of the story I thought things were trending a bit toward predictable and expected, but I was wrong. I didn't know what was going to be revealed, and that was the absolute icing on the cake. There were a couple things I sort of guessed, but Emma Rous revealed them in just the right way to make me still so happy to discover them. But not the big things, the big things I never could have imagined.

And it was all so very perfect, an absolutely readable psychological thriller of family and discovery.

*The Au Pair is on sale January 8, 2019. (Apologies to Emma Rous and the publishers for posting this review so early... I just want everyone to pre-order and read it ASAP!)

I received a copy of The Au Pair from NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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Oh wow. Put some time away for this book. It has all the ingredients for a terrific psychological thriller.

No spoilers from me.  Book is great with lots of lies, deception, tragedy, and twists. Also, loved the unpredictable ending.  Can't say enough great about this. Read it today!!

Thank you NetGalley for allowing me to read this fabulous book.
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