The Au Pair

The Au Pair[Reading] ➽ The Au Pair By Emma Rous – 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 Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their The Au PDF or 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 circleNow an adult Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father While going through his belongings she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous uestions 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 babyWho is the child and what really happened that dayOne person knows the truth if only Seraphine can find her. 35 stars The Au Pair is than a decent read the difference between good and great coming down to the reader’s acceptance of the serpentine ending—a la VC Andrews—and the author’s reliance on a particularly weak plot deviceStylistically Emma Rous blends contemporary fiction with domestic noir setting her mystery at a country home A yellow bricked seaside family estate Summerbourne's history and its inhabitants shrouded in secrets The most jarring tale making the rounds twins not faring well Except for the last set that is the summer born at Summerbourne—Seraphine and Danny Following the accidental death of her father Seraphine now twenty five comes across a photograph of her mother holding a baby Having thrown herself from the cliffs behind Summerbourne the day she gave birth to Seraphine and Danny makes her pleasant expression and the single baby she’s holding suspect The family has never discussed that fateful day prompting Seraphine to start asking uestions Seraphine’s underlying feeling of not belonging ignited she’s inspired to track down the one woman who might have answers Laura her older brother Edwin’s au pair was the one to take the picture before fleeing into the night never to be heard from againThe mystery unfolds with rivaling chapters Seraphine—present day—and Laura—twenty five years earlier as the young au pair—taking turns at the wheel The result a journey that takes little effort the pages almost turning themselves Although the experience isn’t without a few potholes Rous opts to move the plot along on than a few occasions by administering her characters doses of the oh I remember now serum It's storyline development that feels lazy and uninspired Memories resurfacing at the most convenient of times in conjunction with the convoluted climax knocked my overall enjoyment down a few notchesThe page turning uality to the story isn't enough to overcome the identity crisis faced by many of the characters or the blurred familial lines the reader is left to make sense of in the end Best described in my mind as confusing and overdone But have no fear all of that messiness is still somehow wrapped up with a neat little bow Thanks to Berkley Publishing for providing a copy in exchange for my honest thoughts Mystiue 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 DannyThe 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 answersThe 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 vibesThe 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 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 stunnedAn elegantly written suspense novel with some gothic vibes Highly recommend The Au Pair by Emma Rous is a 2019 Berkley Books publication A wickedly dark wildly entertaining mesmerizing tale Seraphine Mayes is mourning the untimely death of her father who died in a freak accident Staying on at her family’s summer home she is going through her father’s things when she finds a photo of her mother taken on the day she committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff But what strikes her as odd is that her mother had just given birth to twins Seraphine and her brother Danny when the photo was snapped However her mother is only holding one baby At the edge of the photo is a woman later identified as ‘Laura’ the au pair who had been hired to care for Seraphine’s older brother at the time Why is there only one baby in the photo? Which baby is in the picture? Is it Seraphine or Danny? With no one willing or able to answer her uestions Seraphine goes in search of the only other adult present that day who can provide her with answers the Au Pair This is a bizarre twisted family saga filled to the brim with secrets misconceptions coverups and deceptions The atmosphere drew me it immediately as did the stylish blend of noir mixed with contemporary Gothic The dual timeline is the perfect format for this type of story with Laura narrating events from the past and Seraphine providing the present day narrative The past and present slowly converges with ripples of shockwaves building to a massive eruption leaving every single character and the reader shaken to the core There’s plenty to chew on if one wishes to delve into the psychology of the story which is deeper than it may appear Seraphine especially has specific fears which drive her to obsessively seek proof of her heritage and identity The folklore tales of “Sprites” and the rumor of a family curse only heightens Seraphine’s paranoia The many revelations and mind bending twists however are jaw droppingly entertaining This book has been compared to the VC Andrews’ style of shocking Gothic family theatrics by some editorial reviewers as well as to Kate Morton who famously combines the past with the present and adds a Gothic flavor to her stories as well Initially I scoffed at such a notion but strange as it sounds the two styles do complement one another So I’m going to concur However I think this book can be enjoyed in a variety of ways It is historical fiction a domestic family drama and a suspenseful mystery Also if you are a fan of Gothic novels old or new or if you like a story with a ‘noir ish’ atmosphere this book is one you might want to considerOverall this is my kind of book A gripping spellbinding tale and a very impressive debut by Emma Rous 35 starsTwisted 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 uestions she had about her mother’s death As she tries to uncover what happened the day her mother died she begins to uestion 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 uestioning 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 correctbut 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 My reviews can also be seen at book opens in August 2017 Seraphine's father recently passed away so she is sorting through his things She comes across a picture of her mother father and older brother Edwin Her mother is holding a baby in the picture The writing on the back of the picture indicates that the picture was taken the day Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were bornSeraphine and Danny were born surrounded by grief There is a six month time frame where apparently no pictures were taken of any of the Mayes family So Seraphine is surprised that this picture exists Her mother appears calm and happy in the picture It’s hard to believe this picture was taken in the final hours of her mother’s life This photo was taken the day EVERYTHING changed for the Mayes family “the same day Danny and I were born our mother jumped from the cliffs behind our house and killed herself” Serephine wonders who her mother is holding in the picture Is it her or Danny? Why is there only one of them in the picture? Her older brother Edwin is as baffled as she is But his attention is caught by another picture in Seraphine’s hands It is a picture of Edwin as a toddler having fun on the beach with a dark haired teenager He remembers her Her name is Laura and she was his au pair She left the day the twins were bornSeraphine has always wanted to know why her mother committed suicide and what happened in the hours beforehand She thinks there is only one person who can answer her uestions LAURA THE AU PAIR Everyone tells Seraphine to let it go but she just can’t Her family is haunted by tragedy Their lives filled with secrets and lies Seraphine just wants answers but there may be people who want to keep her from finding out the truthWill Seraphine find the woman who can tell her what happened on that fateful day? Will searching for answers put Seraphine and others in danger? I thought this was a great debut novelThe characters were fascinating The chapters alternated telling the story from both Seraphine and Laura’s point of view in both the past and present Although it was a little slow at times the plot was intriguing and kept me guessing“The Au Pair” is a well written and entertaining novel full of surprises with an ending I didn't see comingI think that Emma Rous is a writer to watch I am excited to read what she comes up with nextI'd like to thank Berkley Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of this novel All opinions are my own Seraphine Mayes recently lost her father in a tragic accident When cleaning out his belongings from their home Summerbourne she finds a long lost picture she had never seen before In it is her mother Ruth and her father Domenic holding a new born baby It was taken the day she was born but where is her twin brother Danny? Why wouldn't all four of them be in the picture? And why did her mother throw herself off the cliffs into the sea below only hours after their birth? Seraphine uestions her older brother Edwin about the picture He can't tell her much except that the picture was taken by his au pair Laura who never returned after their mothers suicide Seraphine makes it her mission to track down Laura in hopes that she'll provide her the answers she's looking for The chapters alternate between Seraphine in the present and Laura in the past when she moves into Summerbourne as their new au pair I could not stand Seraphine I found her completely annoying I thought her behavior often than not was atrocious and I found it very hard to garner any sympathy for her plight This woman went from 0 to 60 in 1 second after finding that picture She went from a grieving daughter to Who am I? Who are my REAL parents? From here she accuses pretty much every one around her of lying to her My urge to smack this woman grew with every turn of the page I found Laura's chapters much interesting which gave me the resolve to finish this book While it may of been interesting it uickly morphed into the ridiculous towards the end view spoilerYou aren't going to tell me that NO ONE knew or even suspected that Laura was pregnant because she was tall? How coincidental that after birthing Ruth's baby that she herself would go into labor? That's just a little too convenient for me hide spoiler FIVE STARSThe Au Pair is a delicious old fashioned mystery complete with a gothic setting and a clever plot puzzle that just begs to be solvedWhile 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 endIf 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 Oh what a tangled web 🕸 325 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 An exuisitely 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 mindEmma Rouz has woven together an enchanting story that will make the unbelievable believableThis 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 endA grande estate a set of twins a mysterious photograph and a rumor of a curse Seraphine has always felt as though she didn’t uite belong so when she discovers a picture after her father passes away A picture with only one babySeraphine is 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 uestions and only one person who knows the answersThis 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 dramaA 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 35 Doesn't it just figure that after making the decision to read many less psychological thrillers next year I would finish this year with a couple I actually liked This one begins with a death and a picture A picture that sends a young woman one of a set of twins scrambling for answers One baby when there should have been twoA gothic toned storyline a past that holds many secrets and deceptions and a determined young woman bent on finding answers There were so many babies in this it made my head hurt trying to figure out whose baby belonged to whom Where do they all belong? A young au pair that finds herself right in the middle of a drama Folk takes about twins where one doesn't survive because of a myth a curse human hand? uite interesting trying to figure all this out before the denoument A big bad wolf in someone else's clothes? That part I didn't figure on but I actually did uite well with the rest of itThe end a little too dramatic for me almost lost me there but did enjoy getting there so Why don't authors realize that less is sometimes and that they can leave out the kitchen sinkARC from Edelweiss

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  • Paperback
  • 360 pages
  • The Au Pair
  • Emma Rous
  • English
  • 24 March 2016
  • 9780440000457