Book Reviews

Book Review: The Au Pair, by Emma Rous

The Au Pair, by Emma Rous

Publication: Berkley (January 8, 2019)

the au pairAbout the book:

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 smiling serenely and holding just one baby.

Who is the child, and what really happened that day?

**My Review**

Hmmm, not positive yet how to review this one. This was a very different read for me and not at all what I was expecting. Twins Serephine and Danny lost their mother to suicide when she jumped off of seaside cliffs right after they were born. Then their older brother’s au pair ran away, leaving their family’s estate. Fast-forward twenty-five years and their father has died. Serephine finds a photo with her parents, her older brother, and one newborn infant that is dated the day that she and Danny were born. So why only one baby? Told from past and present points of view from Laura, the au pair, and Serephine, the story follows Serephine’s journey into finding out about her past and her family.

So, here’s what I enjoyed about this novel. I liked the chapters told from Laura’s point of view and found her an interesting narrator. The author did a fantastic job of building suspense as we learned more from Laura and what in the world had gone on within this family. I also found the overall storyline and plot unique in a time where I feel like I read different versions of the same story over and over. Mostly, I applaud the author’s writing style, especially with this being her debut novel. There is depth to the characters and wonderful imagery that really propelled me forward in this novel.

Oh – the cover! I fell in love with the cover immediately! 

So what’s not to like? Basically, this just isn’t my style of novel. From the description, I was expecting a suspense/thriller and was unprepared for some of the more fantastical elements that came into play. I found myself confused (several times) and when I wasn’t confused I was struggling with buying into some of the things that unfolded. And unfortunately, I just didn’t like Serephine. I’m trying to find the right words to justify that statement, but for lack of better words, her character was simply annoying. I struggled to care about her feelings of not belonging and her sudden and rash shift between grieving for her father and immediately needing to investigate the photograph. 

Regardless, this is a well-written novel that I’m sure many people will love, and based on reviews, have already read and loved. Although I struggled with certain elements of the plot, I still found myself intrigued enough to continue reading and reach the conclusion of the novel. 

*Thanks to Berkley and NetGalley for providing this review copy in exchange for my honest review!


3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Au Pair, by Emma Rous”

  1. Jen, this is another one I’ve been eyeing up for a while, but still haven’t taken the plunge. You wrote a very insightful review. Still not sure if I’m going to pick up this book (mainly because my TBR is so huge) but I liked hearing your thoughts on it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If your TBR is already ridiculous, as is mine, I don’t know if I would say go for it or not. I could be wrong but, unfortunately, I associate your writing with what you may like reading, lol! I don’t think that you would love this one though.

      Liked by 1 person

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