Who is the child, and what really happened that day?
These are the questions that run through Seraphine’s mind when she uncovers a family photograph taken on the day she and her twin brother were born—except in the photo, their mother is holding only one baby. Described as the literary love child of V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton, The Au Pair is a strong, electrifying debut from Emma Rous, and is already hitting list after list of most anticipated books of 2019, from Bustle to Cosmo to Goodreads. Read on to know what our First Look Club members think about The Au Pair.
Clifford says: [The Au Pair] is a well-structured gothic mystery. It balances the tension between mystery and soap opera elements very well. The use of intersecting timelines is particularly clever. It gives the reader a detailed back story while eliminating the over-narrating deus ex machina that bad mystery writers often use.
Jody says: The book is a fair read for anyone into family drama, scandals, and a light suspense. The twists and turns can be hard to believe and might be predictable at times, but it still has its fair share of shocking revelations and is able to tie up loose ends.
Past and Present
Clifford says: The Au Pair is told through two protagonists: Seraphine Mayes, present-day heir to the Summerbourne estate, and the titular au pair, Laura Silveira, narrates the time she stayed with the Mayes family, leading to the circumstances surrounding the mysterious photograph. Past and present are alternately told, ultimately colliding as the secret is revealed in the book’s climax.
Jody says: The Au Pair focuses on two characters who had never met, but whose lives dramatically intertwine and unravel over the course of the book. Seraphine Mayes, who makes up half of a set of twins, discovers a picture of her mother holding only one baby on the day of their births. Laura Silveira, the Mayes family au pair at that time, disappears after the twins are born. Seraphine begins to doubt her own identity and goes lengths to dig up the secrets of her family’s past, [finding] that Laura is the only one with the answers.
Clifford says: It’s the kind of story that you will want to read no matter what you’re doing: on a long flight, while doing your laundry, or during breaks at work. It’s the kind of book that you’ll want to lend to – nay, force on – your book-buddy right after you’re done with it.
Jody says: It isn’t particularly groundbreaking in its plot or message and tends to move quite slowly for a thriller, but it is an entertaining story for those looking for a complicated romance and an intriguing family affair.
The Au Pair by Emma Rous is will be available soon at Fully Booked branches and Fully Booked Online.