The Au Pairby Published 08 Jan 2019
|The Au Pair.pdf|
A grand estate, terrible secrets, and a young woman who bears witness to it all. 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 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.
The Au Pair Reviews
An eerie, claustrophobic family saga. Cross V.C. Andrews with Agatha Christie and you have The Au Pair.
On the day twins, Seraphine and Danny Mayes, were born, their mother jumped from the cliff at their Norfolk estate – Summerbourne. Twenty five years later, mourning the recent death of her father, Seraphine stumbles across a photograph among his belongings that she’s never seen before. It’s a family snapshot taken the day of her, and Danny’s, birth – showing her father, older brother, and mother – happy and smiling only hours before committing suicide. And in her mother’s arms is not two babies, but one? Where’s the other baby, and what really happened that day? Desperate for answers, Seraphine is determined to track down the Au Pair, Laura, who fled Summerbourne House that same day under mysterious circumstances.
Suspenseful, moody, and atmospheric! Crammed to the brim with all the gothic horror elements I love so much. The isolated, gloomy, yet picturesque setting, befallen by unspoken tragedy, and shouldered in mystery, hidden family secrets, a village riddled with rumours of stolen babies, forbidden romance, and creepy Norfolk folklore had me turning the pages at lightning speed. And then there was the ending – as twisty and shocking as it was emotional and moving.
Chapters alternate between Seraphine and Laura – past and present on a non-stop collision course to reveal the truth. I cared about both characters, and their narratives had me fully immersed from the get go. Supporting characters were just as interesting and intrigued, especially the brothers/sister bond between Seraphine, Danny, and Edwin.
A quick, engrossing novel, that I couldn’t put down. One of my top ten reads for the year no question. I will be waiting with bated breath for Emma Rous’ next book.
UK Edition: 6th December 2018 (Out Now!)
US Edition: 8th January 2019
Twisted, compulsively readable psychological thriller that centers on deeply hidden family secrets.
25-year-old Seraphine buried her father 3 weeks ago and is struggling. While she has her twin brother, Danny, and older brother, Edwin, to offer support, she feels like an outsider in her family--she always has. Her mother committed suicide the day she and Danny were born, and now parentless, she seeks to find answers to the questions she had about her mother’s death.
As she tries to uncover what happened the day her mother died, she begins to question her own origins. There is only one person she believes has the answers she seeks: Laura, Edwin’s childhood Au Pair, Laura, who was present for her birth. She tracks down Laura, but in doing so finds herself in danger. But one begins to wonder if Seraphine really is in danger or if there is something else at play?
The narrative alternates between the past in 1991 to the present, with the events being recounted by Laura and the present by Seraphine. Seraphine made for an enthralling narrator. Many a time, I was questioning the reliability of her version of events.
I couldn’t put this book down--it takes a bit for the story to really take off, but as it became clear that there were many secrets and lies to uncover, I got sucked in! I had a theory early on about some of the mysterious secrets and I was correct...but while I figured out the who, I could never have guessed the how and the why. I love a book that keeps me guessing! I knocked this down a half a star due to the believability factor. It gets a little overly complicated and convoluted towards the end but at the same time the fascinating narrators and web of lies to expose kept me riveted. Overall I found this to be a captivating read!
I won a copy of this book from a Goodreads giveaway!
4 stars! A gripping, atmospheric and jaw-dropping read!
This novel follows the Mayes family, whose history holds many secrets. Seraphine Mayes is grieving the death of her father. While helping to clear out her father’s vast estate, she stumbles across a photograph that leads to some unrelenting questions. Seraphine knows that on the day of her and her twin brother’s birth, their mother took her own life, leaving the family in complete devastation. She has always harboured countless questions about that time, never receiving explanation from her father or grandmother. Laura, the au pair living with the Mayes family during that time, fled that same day, never to be heard from again.
I thoroughly enjoyed the unfolding of this engrossing mystery. The pace was perfect, the dual perspectives were excellent, the flow was seamless. I absolutely loved the “feel” of this story. It was a thrilling ride that had me itching to click on that 5 star rating, until the last 20% when the story lost some steam. There was too much drama at the end and I felt some storyline twists were over-the-top. I do recommend this novel as the writing, the characters and the atmosphere are all unforgettably exceptional, just be prepared for a lot happening at the conclusion.
Thank you to Edelweiss, Berkley and Emma Rous for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Expected Date of Publication: January 8, 2019.
The Au Pair by Emma Rous is part gothic suspense with a full measure of domestic noir!
if I were asked to choose the perfect suspense novel, it would There is absolutely nothing that I love more than dark, domestic tales of suspense and murder. The Au Pair has it all.
Seraphine and Danny are twins who, along with their older brother, Edwin, have been raised on an old Victorian estate in Norfolk (UK.) Their lives would appear charmed to the outside world, but there is a darkness within the family that pervades their existence. On the day that the twins were born, their mother threw herself off of a cliff. Now the siblings are attempting to cope with their father's tragic, accidental death. While going through their father's belongings, Seraphine discovers a photograph of their parents with one of the twins taken on the day they were born. Their mother looks blissfully happy. What possibly could have happened to make her kill herself and why is there only one twin? With stories of changelings, faeries and sprites haunting them all of their lives, Seraphine is determined to find answers. But will those answers be the ones she is hoping to find or will it lead to more heartbreak for this cursed family.
Told from two points of view, Seraphine's and that of Laura, the au pair at the time of their birth, Rous weaves together a story of a wealthy family with mental instability, far too many secrets and characters who will stop at nothing to keep those secrets hidden. The complex plot twists and turns in very unexpected ways and takes the reader on a journey from the present to the past and back again. Although I am one who does not like surprises in my noir novels, this ending will absolutely blow your mind! The resolution, however, is perfection!
For those who love domestic drama, suspense and fast paced fiction, this is definitely a book you will want to read! Mark it now, order early, it will be published January 8th
Thanks to @BerkleyPub for my copy of this fantastic book!
Why did he say I was impossible? Who Am I?
Seraphine is mourning her Dad's death with her twin brother Danny and their older brother Edwin. They recently buried him when Seraphine starts searching through his things. She comes across a questionable photograph that sends her mind into a million questions. The biggest one is Am I who I think I am? Seraphine starts to do some research and finds out who the Au Pair was the day she was born and who else was close to the family. She tries to track these people down and tries to get answers. Each time she finds someone they tell her to stay away and they continue getting threatening letters. That then raises the question of Who is sending these threats and what are they trying to hide?
The book switches from Seraphine's story during present day to Laura's story back in 1991-1992, when everything transpired. It was an interesting parallel as we were finding out what happened as Seraphine was discovering it. I personally enjoyed the flow of the book and thought it went back and forth nicely. Each chapter continued to keep me engaged and I really wanted to continue reading through as I really wanted to know what happened and who was sending these threats, although I had my theories and was right a few times!
I read the title of this - The Au Pair and went in expecting there would be a family and then there would be an affair with the Au Pair and the father. Typically that is what happens in these kinds of stories. However there was more to it than just affairs. There were a lot of intermixing of characters and their story lines which gave it a lot more depth than just an affair or maybe affairs...you'll just have to read to find out.
This is the author, Emma Rous's first novel and I will definitely pick up her future novels!
Thank you to Berkley Publishing for sending me an advanced copy of this book. This one comes out January 8, 2019 and I highly recommend picking it up!