If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous' The Au Pair would be it.
One of the most anticipated books of 2019 from Pop Sugar, Bustle, Cosmo, Parade, and Goodreads!
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 Mayes, the protagonist of British author Rous's atmospheric if muddled first novel, has so many questions, to which she despairs of getting answers, after her father's recent death. Like why the 25-year-old barely looks like either of her brothers, or what drove her mother to kill herself at the family's remote estate on the Norfolk coast the same day she and twin Danny arrived in July 1992. Then, while sorting through her father's effects, she finds a snapshot, taken that fateful day, showing her proud parents and big brother, Edwin, with a single newborn and resolves to track down the photographer, whom Edwin identifies as his au pair, Laura Silveira. Undeterred by pleas from her family to desist, as well as subsequent anonymous threats, Seraphine gradually teases open a dangerous Pandora's box of secrets about her family and the au pair who became part of it. Rous ably interweaves accounts from dual narrators Seraphine and Laura to fan the suspense, but her plot-driven page-turner eventually founders after a few too many fantastic turns.