Cover Image: The Housekeeper

The Housekeeper

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Member Reviews

Jodi's family feels like it's falling apart and she's drowning trying to save her family and keep up with her aging parents.  Parkinsons has left her mother bed ridden and getting worse by the day so all she can think about is finding someone to help her Dad to take care of her.  Jodi is convinced she found the absolute best person for the job in Elyse.  She had every thing Jodi wanted in a helper and then some.  But something isn't sitting right with it too good to be true? 

If I'm being honest, the story line is a touch predictable.  Only one twist truly shocked me.  But with that said, it didn't take away from my enjoyment at all.  I was invested all the way through to the last page.  This is one of those stories where every single characters frustrates me in their own way.  I recommend for anything looking for a quick and easy psyche-thriller.
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Joy Fielding has always been one of my favorite writers since reading See Jane Run. So I was so excited to get the chance to read her newest novel. 
In this mystery thriller the main character Jodi is a middle aged wife with two children. She’s the breadwinner in the family as her husband has been writing his second book for 10 years after the great success of his first novel. Jodi while busy also is very involved and concerned with her parents wellbeing as her mom is slowing dying with Parkinson’s disease and is getting too hard to care for by Jodi’s dad. So she decides to help out by hiring a housekeeper for her parents with no help from her selfish, self-absorbed sister. She finally hires Elyse and she can’t believe her good fortune in finding someone so accommodating pleasant and hard-working. However is she everything that she seems to be is she really this nice kind and helpful? Or is there something more sinister going on? I found the writing very engaging and relatable. I can definitely see something like this happening and how concerning it would be. The story keep me wanting to read to find out what happens next. However it was a little bit predictable at times. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the advance copy!
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Fielding is a very successful Canadian author of many thrillers.  Her previous books include "Cul-de-sac", "She's Not There" and "See Jane Run".  This new release is another psychological thriller and the plot revolves around Jodi, who hires a housekeeper to help her dad care for her mom, who suffers from Parkinson disease.  Elyse, the housekeeper, seems like a godsend at first, but Jodi soon wonders if she made a huge mistake in hiring her. This is a fun read, and while the story is not wholly original, the new twists and turns make is a very entertaining story and a great recommendation for fans of the genre. I really enjoyed it.
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Jodi is our main character and narrator of THE HOUSEKEEPER; she wears many hats: wife, mom, main breadwinner as a real estate agent, and daughter. Harrison, her husband, is an author working on his latest novel which has been in the works for the last 10 years and resents Jodi's success. Jodi's father, Vic is retired and in his late 70s caring for his wife, Audrey, with advanced Parkinson's. As the strain of caring for Audrey begins to weigh on Jodi and Vic, Jodi searches for and interviews many women in search of a housekeeper/caretaker for Audrey. Enter Elyse Woodley - an energetic, attractive, and charming woman with glowing references from her previous housekeeper positions. Elyse is hired to be the housekeeper for Vic and Audrey, but as time progresses Jodi finds herself being shutout from her parent's home and as Audrey's condition rapidly declines, she begins to wonder if Elyse is who she really says she is. 

THE HOUSEKEEPER has an interesting premise, but I found the story to be plus ou moins predictable. We know from the synopsis that something is suspicious about Elyse. She's the perfect candidate - until she isn't. But what's her end game? Overall, I was underwhelmed by the plot with only a couple twists that truly took me by surprise. There's an underlying sense of dread or suspense as you read, but every twist is delivered too cleanly with very little fall out. There is also a heavy focus on Jodi and Harrison's marriage that I could have done without. I did not find it added much to the storyline. 

I did not care very much for any of the characters, Jodi least of all. She is shown to be a woman who tries to do it all - be a good wife, a good mother, a good daughter, and a good employee - which is quite relatable. I found that in doing so, she became the person who everyone walked all over, knowing that she would bend over backwards to cater to their needs rather than her own. 

This novel is definitely a slow-burn character-driven domestic drama, with a focus on dysfunctional family dynamics. Joy's writing style is clean and easy to read, allowing for a nice flow to the story. Despite having been a predictable read, Joy keeps the reader engaged as they read along to find out who comes out on top and what the real motivations of each character is. 

<i>I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Doubleday Canada, of this advanced digital copy for the opportunity to read this novel in exchange for an honest review! All opinions shared are my own.</i>
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3.5 Stars    I enjoy books by Joy Fielding, a Canadian best-selling writer of domestic suspense. She writes in an engaging manner, and her books are easy, quick reads involving domestic drama and mystery. This is a  fast-paced, entertaining, character-based psychological thriller. The story is based on twisted family dynamics with unpleasant, flawed characters. Even the most appealing, Jodi, who narrates this compelling tale, has some annoying personality traits. 

 Jodi has always been searching for approval and is subject to harsh, undeserved criticism from her parents, who clearly preferred her sister Tracy. Nevertheless, she visits her aging parents regularly, a duty avoided by her sister. Tracy is supported by her parents in a lavish style.

  Jodi's husband is regularly finding fault with her, and she is hurt by his lack of appreciation. She has an exhausting real estate position and two children to care for. Her husband often isolates himself in the den, trying to complete a book he has been writing for ten years or absenting himself to teach classes for aspiring authors. Jodi is the sole source of household income, but her husband resents the time she spends at her real estate job. Jody is always apologizing for unfair criticism from her husband and father, failing to stand up to their constant fault-finding.

 Jodi's father is a spry, dapper man approaching eighty years of age. He quit a lucrative position to care for Jodi's mother, who has Parkinson's disease, and her condition is deteriorating. Jodi realizes that her cranky, controlling father is approaching the stage where caregiving and house maintenance is becoming too much for him. Jodi hires Elyse, an attractive, outwardly pleasant, obliging sixty-two-year-old woman. She seems perfect for the job and goes beyond her required duties, offering to care for the children, working weekends, and quickly charms Jodi's children and her father. 

 We know from the beginning that Jodi has strong regrets about hiring Elyse and concedes it was a huge mistake. Soon she notices that the housekeeper is wearing her mother's expensive jewellery and fashions. She is not surprised that her father makes excuses and takes Elyse's side when confronted about helping herself to the mother's possessions. After her mother's tragic death, Elyse and her besotted father soon marry. A tangled web of lies, scheming, and deceit becomes apparent.

 Jodi and her sister join forces to try to stop some alarming developments in their father's home. They can find no help from lawyers or police with merely their suspicions and without concrete proof. Jodi is concerned her father may be in mortal danger, and Tracy is worried that her inheritance will be lost to her.

 Added to the story of a dysfunctional family, this book addresses some very real and significant social problems, such as elder abuse and defrauding senior citizens of their wealth and property. 
Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Canada/Doubleday Canada for the ARC of this compelling thriller.
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The Housekeeper was my first novel by Joy Fielding but it certainly won't be my last. This thriller had me on the edge of my seat and was a book I quite literally couldn't put down - I finished it in a day.

Jodi and Tracy are two middle aged sisters who need someone to help their father look after their mother who lives with Parkinson's. Enter - Elyse Woodley. The seemingly perfect housekeeper who is making everyone's lives easier and better, until she isn't. 
Told from Jodi's perspective, we see how things slowly start to decline and how the questions and lack of answers start to pile up. 
This novel keeps you guessing right along with Jodi and Tracy, asking the same questions as the story unfolds. With twists and turns until the last chapter, this novel did not disappoint.

Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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Joy Fielding certainly knows how to tell a story that keeps the pages turning and the lights on.

The Housekeeper is no exception.

Jodi hires a housekeeper to look after her ailing Mum thus helping out her Dad.

Jodi will also benefit having more time with her family.

Elyse is hired and Jodi thinks to herself she is too good to be true.

Jodi was not wrong .

The pages fly by as Elyse inserts herself into the family and gradually freezes everyone out except her Dad.

The Housekeeper is a fast paced read with twists and turns and a perfect ending.

Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada for thrilling read.
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Very predictable domestic suspense of a woman who insinuates herself into the lives of a wealthy elderly man with a sick wife. Jodi, the main character and from whose POV the story is told, is one of the daughters who becomes suspicious of the woman who becomes the family housekeeper. Jodi is very naive and allows herself to be treated poorly by everyone in her life. I found her to be very annoying - even when she is being treated badly, she always turns the other cheek - and that pretty much set the tone of the novel for me. The secondary characters were 100% flawed and there was no character development.  They were very one dimensional. The plot was okay with no real twists or turns and the ending was predictable. I did find the writing style very easy to read. I have enjoyed this author’s previous novels but this one just didn’t work for me. 2.5 stars.

Thanks to Penguin Random House Canada and Netgalley for this ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Wow, an old premise told in a new way.  I found Jodi quite frustrating in the way she let herself be so marginalized by everyone but I suppose it’s believable if she had spent a lifetime seeking love and approval and always being overlooked. Enjoyable read otherwise, hard to put down. I always enjoy Joy Fielding’s books. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada for the copy.
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When Jodi’s mothers Parkinsons progresses to the point that her elderly father Vic can’t take care of her, Jodi insists on hiring a live in housekeeper. Elyse is perfect and seems to know exactly what the family needs. Help with the kids, a perfectly timed chocolate chip cookie, a quick rebuttal to Vic’s insults, so when red flags start presenting themselves, Jodi is quick to dismiss them. 
When she can no longer turn a blind eye to some unsettling interactions, Jodi finds herself on the losing side of a family war and at risk of losing everything. 
Who is this woman she invited into her family’s life. 

I read this book in one sitting. 
While I knew what was coming, I couldn’t stop reading. 
You know Elyse is bad news, but what is she doing, what is she going to do next? I couldn’t stop reading. 

This book is full of unlikeable characters, I was constantly feeling sorry for Jodi who is definitely on the receiving end of everyone’s bad attitude. 

A very fast and twisted read with a show stopping ending.
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“But I’m getting ahead of myself. The dead body comes later.

And if there’s any mystery as to what transpired, it’s how I let it happen
In the end, I have only myself to blame.

I’m the one who let her in.” 

Thank you, Netgalley, for the ARC!

Out of all my outstanding ARCs, I was in the mood for a thriller/mystery. I love how this took place in Canada (Canadian points there) and that the chapters were short. This was a very interesting story with a well-set foundation of characters and twisted family dynamic. I kinda expected more with the titular Housekeeper at the start, but it did pick up. Some aspects were predictable, but I couldn’t wait to see what would happen with Jodi and Elyse. Even then, some parts did surprise me and I couldn’t put it down.

I also loved how meta it was at the end.
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“And what is it they say about things that seem too good to be true?”
“There had to be a catch, I remember thinking. Nobody was that perfect.”
“In the end, I have only myself to blame. I’m the one who let her in.”

A fantastic read! Not only is Fielding a goddess of domestic suspense, but her writing style always leaves me feeling like I’ve had a coffee date with a good friend, rather than feeling like I’ve ‘just’ finished a good book. 

This time, Fielding has captured the essence of family dynamics and a situation most of us will face at one time - the decision to find our elderly parents in-home care. 

The characters - I loved them ALL! I could see a little bit of people I knew in each one of her characters. I giggled out loud at how expertly they were captured - from the ‘cute as a cupcake’ kids, to Harrison ‘tick tock’ Bishop the author husband, to Tracy ‘I only drink bottled water from the fridge’ the fashionista older sister, right to the aging parents! Fielding must do a ton of people watching! I won’t forget these characters any time soon. 

The plot - ok, predictable. BUT I didn’t read it for the plot. I loved it because of how Fielding captured humanity and how she shared it with readers. I have a friend who experienced the same situation, so I could imagine Jodi Bishop’s feelings of exasperation. I appreciated the insight into caring for someone who suffers a debilitating disease, into running a household with little help while trying to balance a successful career, and into making difficult decisions with little input. Fielding enables us to become easily engrossed in her books because she choses situations and characters with whom we feel a level of familiarity. 

223 Scarth Road won’t know what hit it when Elyse Woodley, 62, comes to live in an assist Mr/s Audrey and Vic Dundas! 

A fantastic read that will have you laughing out loud, stifling giggles and screaming ‘No way!’ - a worthy read to top your summer reading list. 

I was gifted this advance copy by Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.
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When Jodi hires a housekeeper for her aging parents she never suspects the twisted web she would find herself in.  Jodi finds herself fighting to keep her marriage together while trying to uncover the secrets going on in her parents home before it’s too late. 

Highly recommended.  Another great read from Joy Fielding

* I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book from NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada in exchange for my honest review.
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I read this in one night, such an addicting novel!

Even though the novel is predictable, I was still hooked on what was going to happen with the characters. I wasn't a fan of any of the characters, they were all so unlikeable, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story. 

I also loved that the novel was set in Toronto! I loved reading about the different neighbourhoods and the real estate prices were definitely accurate! 

Thank you to Netgallery and Penguin Random House Canada, Doubleday Canada for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Quick easy read in kne sitting. Love domestic thrillers snd this one fit the bill. Easy short chapters with the twisty end. Great book.

Thanks to the author, the publisher and NetGalley for an early release of this book.
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3.5 stars. Exhausted from trying to juggle her family, personal life and her aging parents, Jodi Bishop decides to hire a housekeeper to aide in the care of her mother who has Parkinson’s disease. In the beginning everything is great - perfect even.  At some point everything changes.. when exactly? She can’t pinpoint the exact moment. Jewellery starts going missing, her mother’s health is rapidly deteriorating, and now she’s being shut out. Who exactly is this woman that she hired?

“In the end, I only have myself to blame. I’m the one who let her in.” 

This was a fast paced, easy to read domestic thriller. With its short chapters I was able to devour this in a day. I hated probably every single character in this book and how horrible they were to Jodi. It had a decent amount of twists and not always ones I saw coming. Plus, I always have a soft spot for books set in my own province. 

Thank you to Net Gallery and Penguin Random House Canada for this eARC!
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This is the first book that I have read by Joy Fielding and I absolutely loved it. The writing had me hooked from beginning to end. 

When Jodi's 80 year old father can no longer manage to care for his wife on his own. The search begins for a  live-in housekeeper to take care of them both. When Elyse, a young attractive women who is seemingly perfect on paper with glowing references for the position is hired. What could go wrong? 

Such a page turning domestic thriller with unthinkable family drama. After reading this you will be thinking twice before hiring an attractive stranger to be in your home.
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I really enjoyed this book. The characters were relatable and I quickly connected with Jodi who is forever trying to balance work, home and extended family. While the story was somewhat predictable, it was a perfect summer read with some twisted and turns that made the reader smile or groan.

Recommend this book to those who want a quick read about the complications of family life.
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This was a very fast read and very entertaining. I loved twist near the end. This is a first book by Joy Fielding for me.  If you like a quick thriller, this is a good book for you.
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Thank you for the advanced copy for an honest review

This about a woman named Jodi who is hiring a housekeeper in order to help her as she is running two households; hers and her parents. 

In comes Elyse, with good references and too perfect to be true. She infiltrates herself I to the family and making herself the ideal caretaker/housekeeper.

The ending was not what I had expected 

This was such a good read, couldn’t but it down, finished it in a day
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