Book Review: The Au Pair by Emma Rous


The Au Pair by Emma Rous
My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟4 stars
Publisher:  Berkley Books (January 2019)

This was my first read of 2019 (when I read this back in August 2018) and I was both thrilled and sad. Thrilled that I'd read such a great story and sad that I'd read it already. When it arrived in the post months before, I sat it aside to take on vacation. So I read it on vacation and it was such an engaging read, I started to get a bit resentful of having to put it down to participate in vacation activities. And I'm one who plans in reading time!



Told in two timelines, past and present, by two narrators, Seraphine and Laura (the au pair). There are secrets that need to be spoken, suspicions that need to be settled, cuckolds that need to be revealed, unspoken and unrequited love to be revealed and rested and a murderer that needs to be stopped before striking again. The dead can't talk and the living don't want to but, as they say, the truth will out. There's a lot going on within these pages and it was so well done. I didn't know I was going to get all that from the book blurb. Random thing about the blurb, it mentions this book is the intersection of Kate Morton and V.C. Andrews. As it happened, I had a galley of Kate Morton's new book set aside to read on vacation too. I thought that was neat in a book nerd way. I've not read Andrews but I can say that this reminded me of some elements of Liz Nugent's Lying in Wait. It was, even for me, that kind of propulsive read.

Emma Rous is now on my Author I Must Read list because she knew how to tease this story out, keep the tension going and by the time I got to the end, I was satisfied and a bit sorry the read was over. Fantastic.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for the analog ARC.

Summary: 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 beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.
Who is the child and what really happened that day?
One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.



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