by Emma Rous
In this suspenseful novel, Emma Rous brings together family secrets, mysterious deaths and cursed twins in a compelling mystery with Gothic overtones set in a family estate on the Norfolk coast.
Seraphine Mayes, her twin Danny, and their older brother, Edwin, are grieving over the tragic death of their father.Their father raised them alone because on the day that Seraphine and Danny were born, their mother, Ruth, threw herself off the cliffs near their Norfolk home. As Seraphine is going through her father’s belongings, she comes across a photo taken on the day that she and Danny were born. It shows their well dressed, smiling mother next to their father and older brother holding just one baby, not two. Soon after this picture was taken, their mother killed herself, or did she?
Seraphine has always felt like an outsider in the family because she doesn’t look like her twin. After seeing this picture with only one baby she decides to track down Laura, the au pair, who took care of their older brother, Edwin. Maybe she has some answers. However Laura doesn’t want to talk to her about what went on during that summer of 1992 when the twins were born.
Her brothers tell her to leave it alone but Laura has to know. The town has always been filled with gossip about their family and their home, Summerbourne. Edwin was also a twin and his brother died. The people in town think that the Summerbourne house and their family might be cursed and they don’t want to talk to Seraphine about what happened back in 1992 either.
The novel shifts between Seraphine in 2017 and Laura, the au pair, in 1992. There are a lot of surprises in this novel and it kept me reading to find out what really happened. I found the ending to be surprising and a little bit implausible but I did enjoy The Au Pair.
Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for providing me with an advanced reading copy for review.