The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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 and Oprah Winfrey), 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 soon threatens to unhinge everything...
For fans of Notes on a Scandal and The Woman Upstairs, The Housekeeper is a nuanced psychological drama about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.
This started off very slowly in fact so slowly that I almost didn't want to bother to carry on. It only really picked up pace by 69 and the start of chapter 7. I must admit from then on in I only skim read this as it was littered with (in my opinion) unnecessary descriptive passages and not enough action.
The novel is built around the main character Anne Morgan a chef who works in a restaurant owned by her handsome boyfriend Anton. All appears to be wonderful in her world until her boyfriend leaves her for someone else and she ends up becoming a housekeeper for a high profile couple the wife of which Anna has been obsessing about and following her blog for sometime. OK this gets my interest, could she be a bunny boiler, so I plough on.
I have to say at this point I was beginning to think the novel might have picked up a bit but really this lacked enough pace to keep the reader going. The book promised secrets that she learns about the family but really they are so lame especially in today's age that there just wasn't anything to hook the reader. This is not a fast paced thriller or a slow burner that develops into an explosion it was, for me a damp squib.
I couldn't connect with the characters who seemed to be one dimensional lacking warmth or realism. I found the story lack lustre really and although it had a couple of interesting developments (couldn't really call them twists) it just wasn't enough to make me want to continue reading.
Overall it was well written but to bill this novel as a psychological thriller and a page turner is a long way off the mark, it is really a contemporary novel and if it had been billed as such then it could be reviewed as that instead of which to review it as a psychological thriller it can't make the grade. It wastes a lot of time with unnecessary detail and lacks sufficient pace to keep the reader engaged.
It takes a long time, effort and personal pain to write a novel and I am sorry Suellen that my review is not the best but I think it's a case of mistakenly putting this into the wrong genre raising expectations in the first instance and then lacking in substance in the second.
There is no suspense or shocking reveals in this book it is just an average contemporary novel that I would rate as a 3 star.
I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.