Release Date: January 8, 2019
Source: Review copy from the publisher
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 smiling serenely and holding just one baby.
Who is the child, and what really happened that day?
Seraphine and Danny are twins, and on the day they were born back in 1992, their mother jumped from the cliffs behind their coastal estate of Summerbourne. Much later, after the death of their father, Seraphine comes across an old photo from that fateful day that raises suspicions about their family. The one person that may have answers to her questions is Laura, the au pair who disappeared shortly after her mother’s suicide. But as it turns out, someone is willing to do whatever it takes to keep the truth buried.
I greatly enjoyed this twisted tale of family secrets, told in dual timelines and points of view with Laura in the past, and Seraphine in the present. I couldn’t resist the Gothic feeling and setting on the windswept coast of England. The writing and descriptions were lovely, and I had to pause and reread certain passages to savor. I enjoyed trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces fit, and nope, I did not have it right! I was easily entangled in the mystery of this dysfunctional family. Highly recommended for fans of domestic suspense.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.