written by Suellen Dainty
published by Atria Books, 2017
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: It is a well-written story with a bit of a twist at the end. But . . . I had to make myself finish it.
The back of the book says this is a “nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller,” but I just didn’t get that at all. My nails are intact, and I wasn’t that shocked or gripped or thrilled by the story. I was expecting a book that was going to grab me, hold on to me, and not let me go until the very end. This book barely held on to me. I kept hoping for something exciting, some kind of major revelation, some unforeseen event to occur. It just didn’t deliver.
The characters weren’t worth rooting for either. Anne made no sense to me at all. I just didn’t understand why she left her career as a chef (I understand why she left her current job at the beginning of the book) to become a housekeeper. While she was working, I did understand her peace with it, the methodical aspect, and the family that she so desperately wanted to have. But I just couldn’t get on her side with it. I wanted her to show her ex-boyfriend that she could make it without him, be stronger. With regards to the whole family issue, I understand where she was with that. I really do. BUT . . . I wanted something more to come out of it. And the other characters just aren’t worth mentioning. They weren’t nice. They weren’t supportive. They weren’t who they thought they were or who the public thought they were. They had secrets, but they weren’t that surprising.
I felt let down after I finally finished this book.
Would I recommend it: Probably not.
About the book – from Goodreads: “[The Housekeeper] will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.” —Buzzfeed
“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”
When Anne Morgan’s successful boyfriend—who also happens to be her boss—leaves her for another woman, Anne finds herself in desperate need of a new job and a quiet place to recover. Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley (England’s answer to Martha Stewart), is in need of a housekeeper, an opportunity which seems too good to be true.
Through her books, website, and blog, Emma Helmsley advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a high profile academic, and her children, Jake and Lily, are well-adjusted teenagers. On the surface, they are the perfect family. But Anne soon finds herself intimately ensconced in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively. Underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide and Anne’s own disturbing past threatens to unhinge everything.
For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced and psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.