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 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?”
When I requested The Au Pair from the library, I was under the impression that this would be a domestic thriller. While it had mystery, it was more of a slow burn family drama with a rather unrealistic ending. There was also a fantastical element that just didn’t work for me. I did enjoy the concept of having the two narrators Seraphine and Laura tell this story while going back in forth in time.
While it was a slow build, I was initially drawn into this family mystery/literary fiction and enjoyed learning more as Seraphine started to dig into her families past. The setting was intriguing and reminded me a lot of the Lake House by Kate Morton which I loved.
There were many people to keep track of which made it a little tricky to connect some of the dots for a while but I was intrigued. The ending was just too implausible for me and left me feeling disappointed. This was a 3-star book for me because I did really enjoy the first 3/4 of this book.