The Au Pairby Published 08 Jan 2019
|The Au Pair.pdf|
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
Mystique, atmosphere, and surprising twists!
This novel was so captivating that I did not want to put it down! There is a compelling aura of mystery that hovers around the birth of the twins- Seraphine and Danny.
The twins were born at home at the family's beautiful, sprawling Norfolk estate. A photograph is taken of the parents, their older son Edwin, and their mother, Ruth. Although, she is only holding only one of her newborn twins. Where is the second twin? Which one is in the photograph? The novel will reveal the unpredictable answers.
The setting with the estate's beautiful gardens, the near-by beach and the menacing cliffs was atmospheric. The gardener who tells spooky tales. and a young nanny hired by the family, make this story enchanting and seductive with some gothic vibes.
The secrets come out in the second half of the story and you may be able to catch some hints to what is going on along the way. I was flipping pages as fast as I could while more twists continued until they turned into a full blown tornado! I thought I was ahead of the game, but OH NO, take my word for it, I was stunned.
An elegantly written suspense novel with some gothic vibes. Highly recommend!
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!
An exquisitely spun web of spellbinding secrets and dark deceit!
This suspenseful story Will keep you riveted from first line to last... a magical tale that will awaken your imagination and stretch your mind....Emma Rouz has woven together an enchanting story that will make the unbelievable believable....
This book is like a walk on a foggy morning... when you start out you can barely see your hand in front of your face... but as you go on the fog begins to Clear... The path is Windee with some unexpected twists and you may not end up where you originally thought you would.... but every step was SO worth the satisfying end....
A grande estate, a set of twins, a mysterious photograph, and a rumor of a curse... Seraphine has always felt as though she didn’t quite belong... so when she discovers a picture after her father passes away... A picture with only one baby...Seraphine is more convinced than ever that things are not as she’s been told her entire life.... is the baby in the picture her or her twin brother Danny? And why are both babies not in the picture? And how can her mother look so happy when merely hours later she takes her own life? So many questions and only one person who knows the answers....
This book was told from duel perspectives... Seraphine and her struggle to finding who she really is... and Laura, The au pair, in 1991 when she was working for the family taking care of Edwin the twins older brother.... both these characters were likable and sympathetic, but I have to admit Laura really stole the show for me.... A better au pair you could not ask for.... not to mention the girl was thrown into this dysfunctional family’s drama...
A captivating creepy story with a gothic vibe that will keep you glued to those pages! A dark deceptive tail that will leave your mind reeling and your heart racing! An absolute must read! Strongly recommend!
*** huge thanks to Berkley for my copy of this book ***
Oh, what a tangled web! 🕸 3.25 convoluted, family secrets filled stars ⭐️ for The Au Pair
Within hours of her birth Seraphine Mayes' mother Ruth had thrown herself from the cliffs near their family home. 25 years later, as Seraphine mourns the death of her father she comes across a hidden, old family photo. Seraphine never had a photo with her mother but in this photo dated on the day she was born her mother sits, smiling, cradling an infant, surrounded by her older son and husband. This photo would be a welcome discovery if not for the fact that there should be two babies in the photo. Seraphine has a twin brother, Danny. So which of them is in the photo and why is one of them missing?
Seraphine's mind becomes a swell of emotions, memories and stories. Growing up there had been many rumors shared about the Summerbourne twins. That they were not really from Summerbourne, they were sprites or worse - children Ruth had stolen at the height of her madness before killing herself. Seraphine can not shake the uneasiness this photo ignites in her. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened on the day she and Danny were born. With both her parents dead and her grandmother Vera unwilling to discuss anything about the past Seraphine is determined to track down the only other person who knows what truly happened that day - her older brother Edwin's Au Pair, Laura.
The mystery unfolds, via alternating chapters of the past detailing Laura's eleven months spent as an Au Pair with the Mayes family and the present chronicling Seraphine's journey towards discovery of the truth. It is a slow unraveling of long hidden family secrets brought to light in much too convenient ways at times. I had definite theories early on about who was responsible for certain acts in Seraphine's present as well as what went on in the past. I was correct in both cases though I did have the twin aspect figured out incorrectly.
The story gets very confusing and convoluted at the end- a bit too much for my liking. I had a hard time accepting some of the reveal but overall the story was entertaining and definitely kept me turning the pages. If you enjoy stories about family secrets, tragedy, mental instability and deception everywhere then this one is definitely for you.
Thank you Emma Rous, Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for an arc of this book.
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.
Many thanks to Netgalley for my early copy! Strictly my own opinions.