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The Au Pair

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  21,093 ratings  ·  2,936 reviews
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
Paperback, 360 pages
Published January 8th 2019 by Berkley Books
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Linda There were definitely some thin plot lines, which kept my rating lower. But it was a book I definitely wanted to finish, and I liked most of it.
There were definitely some thin plot lines, which kept my rating lower. But it was a book I definitely wanted to finish, and I liked most of it.
Kate If you borrow this book from the library, free.

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Average rating 3.69  · 
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 ·  21,093 ratings  ·  2,936 reviews

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*3.5 stars*

The Au Pair is more than a decent read, the difference between good and great coming down to the reader’s acceptance of the serpentine ending—a la V.C. Andrews—and the author’s reliance on a particularly weak plot device.

Stylistically, Emma Rous blends contemporary fiction with domestic noir, setting her mystery at a country home. A yellow-bricked, seaside, family estate, Summerbourne's history and its inhabitants shrouded in secrets. The most jarring tale making the rounds, twins n
Holly  B
Mystique, atmosphere, and surprising twists!

This novel was so captivating that I did not want to put it down! There is a compelling aura of mystery that hovers around the birth of the twins- Seraphine and Danny.

The twins were born at home at the family's beautiful, sprawling Norfolk estate. A photograph is taken of the parents, their older son Edwin, and their mother, Ruth. Although, she is only holding only one of  her newborn twins.  Where is the second twin? Which one is in the photograph
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Au Pair by Emma Rous is a 2019 Berkley Books publication.

A wickedly dark, wildly entertaining, mesmerizing tale!

Seraphine Mayes is mourning the untimely death of her father, who died in a freak accident. Staying on at her family’s summer home, she is going through her father’s things, when she finds a photo of her mother taken on the day she committed suicide by throwing herself off a cliff. But, what strikes her as odd, is that her mother had just given birth to twins- Seraphine and her b
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
3.5 stars

Twisted, compulsively readable psychological thriller that centers on deeply hidden family secrets.

25-year-old Seraphine buried her father 3 weeks ago and is struggling. While she has her twin brother, Danny, and older brother, Edwin, to offer support, she feels like an outsider in her family--she always has. Her mother committed suicide the day she and Danny were born, and now parentless, she seeks to find answers to the questions she had about her mother’s death.

As she tries to u
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs, 2019-releases
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

This book opens in August 2017. Seraphine's father recently passed away so she is sorting through his things. She comes across a picture of her mother, father, and older brother, Edwin. Her mother is holding a baby in the picture. The writing on the back of the picture indicates that the picture was taken the day Seraphine and her twin brother, Danny were born.

Seraphine and Danny were born surrounded by grief. There is a six
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Seraphine Mayes recently lost her father in a tragic accident. When cleaning out his belongings from their home, Summerbourne, she finds a long lost picture she had never seen before. In it is her mother, Ruth, and her father, Domenic, holding a new born baby. It was taken the day she was born but where is her twin brother Danny? Why wouldn't all four of them be in the picture? And why did her mother throw herself off the cliffs into the sea below only hours after their birth?

Seraphine question
j e w e l s
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

The Au Pair is a delicious, old-fashioned mystery complete with a gothic setting and a clever plot puzzle that just begs to be solved.

While not exactly a psychological suspense type story, I found it to be just as page-turnable as any thriller. I thought I had most of the puzzle figured out, but it is a bit complicated and I could never work out one piece of the puzzle. That piece, indeed, turned out to be the biggest reveal at the end.

If you are an Agatha Christie fan at heart, you wi
An exquisitely spun web of spellbinding secrets and dark deceit!

This suspenseful story Will keep you riveted from first line to last... a magical tale that will awaken your imagination and stretch your mind....Emma Rouz has woven together an enchanting story that will make the unbelievable believable....

This book is like a walk on a foggy morning... when you start out you can barely see your hand in front of your face... but as you go on the fog begins to Clear... The path is Windee with some u
Jan 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Oh, what a tangled web! 🕸 3.25 convoluted, family secrets filled stars ⭐️ for The Au Pair

Within hours of her birth Seraphine Mayes' mother Ruth had thrown herself from the cliffs near their family home. 25 years later, as Seraphine mourns the death of her father she comes across a hidden, old family photo. Seraphine never had a photo with her mother but in this photo dated on the day she was born her mother sits, smiling, cradling an infant, surrounded by her older son and husband. This photo w
Diane S ☔
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 Doesn't it just figure that after making the decision to read many less psychological thrillers next year, I would finish this year with a couple I actually liked. This one begins with a death and a picture. A picture that sends a young woman, one of a set of twins, scrambling for answers. One baby, when there should have been two.

A gothic toned storyline, a past that holds many secrets and deceptions, and a determined young woman bent on finding answers. There were so many babies in this, i
Katie B
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Such a page turner, I ended up finishing it in a day. It's just one of those good old popcorn eating reads in which you can't wait to see how everything unfolds.

Seraphine and her twin brother Danny were only hours old when their mother committed suicide off the cliffs of the Norfolk coast. Now an adult, Seraphine is mourning the death of her father. While going through his possessions at the family estate, she uncovers a family photograph of her parents, older brother Edwin, and a baby
Larry H
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm between 3.5 and 4 stars, so I'll round up.

Seraphine and Danny Mayes are twins, born at Summerbourne, their family's estate on the English coast. Not long after their birth, their troubled mother, Ruth, leapt off the cliffs and fell to her death.

And as if that tragedy wasn't enough chaos for one day, the family's young au pair, Laura, also fled Summerbourne, never to be heard from again. While the twins were raised by their father and their fiercely protective maternal grandmother, the local
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4 stars! A gripping, atmospheric and jaw-dropping read!

This novel follows the Mayes family, whose history holds many secrets. Seraphine Mayes is grieving the death of her father. While helping to clear out her father’s vast estate, she stumbles across a photograph that leads to some unrelenting questions. Seraphine knows that on the day of her and her twin brother’s birth, their mother took her own life, leaving the family in complete devastation. She has always harboured countless questions abo
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Yay me!

I entered the giveaway because the blurb compared it to V C. Andrews work which, we all know, is beyond compare. I know, you don't need to say it. Lesson learned.

I kept putting off reading it in favor of other books that I felt I would enjoy more. Then all of the raving reviews started coming in and I quickly moved it up my TBR list. Again, I know, you don't need to say it. Lesson learned.

As usual I am going to be the Debbie Downer with my review o
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 gothic and complex stars to The Au Pair! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Seraphine and Danny, twins, are born on the coast of Norfolk, England. Not long after their births, their mother commits suicide, and their au pair flees.

After that, the village goes wild with rumors about dark things that may have happened within the grand estate.

Seraphine is now an adult grieving the loss of her father when she finds a mysterious family photograph. The photo is from the day she was born, and in it, her mother appears hap
*TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus) by: Katie B
Thank you to the publisher Berkley who provided an advance reader copy via Edelweiss.

Summerbourne is an English country estate set against the beach and cliffs, a beloved refuge of the Summerbourne family. However, over the years it has suffered heartbreaking tragedies involving the death of a twin, and the suicide of a mother. In 1992 Ruth Mayes (Summerbourne heir) threw herself off the cliff in back of the house on the same day she gave birth to twins Seraphine and Danny. Several years earlier
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Emma Rous writes an enjoyable atmospheric, gothic flavoured debut, a psychological thriller set in the stunningly beautiful Norfolk coast, where the large Mayes family estate, Summerbourne House, is located and where twins, Seraphine and Danny were born. The Mayes family has a history of tragedy, and shortly after Ruth gave birth to the twins, she proceeds to commit suicide. Amidst the locals, rumours, gossip and supernatural explanations swirl around the 'cursed' family. Seraphine is now 25, gr ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it liked it
A House of Mirrors......

You know the experience. Where things are completely distorted and take on highly exaggerated shapes of their own. What exactly is real and what is not?

Seraphine Mayes returns to the family estate on the coast of Norfolk. She is joined by her twin brother, Danny, and her older brother, Edwin, for their father's funeral. There was a terrible accident when Dominic fell off a ladder while repairing the garage roof.

But the Mayes family have experienced great tragedy in times
The Au Pair by Emma Rous is part gothic suspense with a full measure of domestic noir!

if I were asked to choose the perfect suspense novel, it would There is absolutely nothing that I love more than dark, domestic tales of suspense and murder. The Au Pair has it all. 

Seraphine and Danny are twins who, along with their older brother, Edwin, have been raised on an old Victorian estate in Norfolk (UK.)  Their lives would appear charmed to the outside world, but there is a darkness within the famil
Mackenzie - PhDiva Books
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gothic
Even deeply buried secrets have a way of coming out. It takes only a small thread of information to unravel a tightly woven web of lies. And when we find those threads, it’s pretty hard not to pull them. But what if the truth is worse than the lie? That’s always the problem with secrets… Once a secret comes to light, it can’t be reburied.

In the stunning debut novel by writer Emma Rous, an old photograph leads to the discovery of a terrible secret. With a sense of mysticism and lore, a seaside es
Carol (Bookaria)
This was a gripping, mysterious, and captivating read. Once I started it, I could not stay away from it.

Seraphine is mourning the death of her father and looking through old pictures when she stumbles upon an odd photograph, in it her mother is posing with a baby the same day she and her twin brother were born. She asks herself why is only one baby in the picture when her mother has just given birth to twins? And she won’t stop until she finds the answer to this question.

I absolutely loved this
Jan 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: drama, suspense
An interesting story in an atmospheric setting: a manor on the Norfolk coast, a rich family, suspicious deaths and even more suspicious characters.

I knew the plot was exactly my type so I read it despite a lot of 3* reviews from my GR friends. I'm glad I did! I appreciated the writing of Emma Rous and the dual timeline was enthralling (my favorite being the one in the past).

Now, about the ending... Let's say it was satisfying enough. I'm really difficult when it comes to endings so I never expec
Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
"My life was tied up with Summerbourne now. It was in my blood. It wasn't the sort of connection I could just walk away from."

The story is divided into two perspectives: Lauren Silveira narrates her working experience 20 years ago as the nanny or au pair for the Mayes, a rich family living in the Summerbourne house by the beach. Another is Seraphine Mayes tells us about the present and her quest in finding about the truth: Why did her mother, Ruth Mayes, jumped off the cliff merely h
3.5 Stars! Gripping, twisted & captivating!

THE AU PAIR by EMMA ROUS is an engaging, dark, mysterious and gothic tale of suspense that immediately piqued my interest and took me on a thrilling and bumpy roller coaster ride. I definitely found the premise of this book quite appealing and totally embraced the feel of this novel. I felt all those dips and curves while I was reading this story but then the ride took a drastic turn near the end to leave me feeling quite perplexed and spent.

An eerie, claustrophobic family saga. Cross V.C. Andrews with Agatha Christie and you have The Au Pair.


On the day twins, Seraphine and Danny Mayes, were born, their mother jumped from the cliff at their Norfolk estate – Summerbourne. Twenty five years later, mourning the recent death of her father, Seraphine stumbles across a photograph among his belongings that she’s never seen before. It’s a family snapshot taken the day of her, and Danny’s, birth – showing her father, older brother, and moth
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it

Happy publication day to this mysterious read!!

WOW...... what a book!

Mysterious, beautiful, and addicting!

Ok... let's all acknowledge that cover... ok it's fantastic! This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018 and I have to say that Emma Rous did not disappoint ;).

There is a underlying mysterious story to the two twins Seraphine and Danny. Both twins were born at the beautiful family's estate in Norfolk. A picture is taken of the mother Ruth and their older son Edwin, and only one of
Meredith B.  (readingwithmere)
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 Stars!

Why did he say I was impossible? Who Am I?

Seraphine is mourning her Dad's death with her twin brother Danny and their older brother Edwin. They recently buried him when Seraphine starts searching through his things. She comes across a questionable photograph that sends her mind into a million questions. The biggest one is Am I who I think I am? Seraphine starts to do some research and finds out who the Au Pair was the day she was born and who else was close to the family. She tries t
Diana | Book of Secrets
4.5 Stars → Seraphine and Danny are twins, and on the day they were born back in 1992, their mother jumped from the cliffs behind their coastal estate of Summerbourne. Much later, after the death of their father, Seraphine comes across an old photo from that fateful day that raises suspicions about their family. The one person that may have answers to her questions is Laura, the au pair who disappeared shortly after her mother's suicide. But as it turns out, someone is willing to do whatever it ...more
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars

Everything began with a photograph…

Seraphine has a twin brother, Danny, and an older brother, Edwin. The day they were born their mother died. Now after 25 years their father is dead and Seraphine found a family photograph from the day they were born when they were only a few hours old. But something is wrong with that photo! In the photo, their mother had held just one of the babies and there wasn't any trace of the other one! And their mother seemed so calm in the picture, so why did
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Seraphine returns to her family's home after her father's funeral. She is joined by her twin brother Danny and her older brother Edwin. While cleaning up her father's possessions, she discovers an old photograph that raises some troubling questions. The photo is dated from the twins’ birth but their mother is only holding one baby. Which child is her mother holding and why aren't both babies in the photo?

The photo also shows her mother very happy and proud yet that is the same day she committed
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What do you think about this book? 5 53 May 10, 2021 01:56AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page numbering for 9780349419091 3 22 Apr 13, 2019 03:07AM  
Play Book Tag: The Au Pair - Emma Rous - 4 Stars 3 23 Feb 07, 2019 06:28AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please correct page count 2 24 Jan 15, 2019 05:07PM  
Around the Year i...: The Au Pair, by Emma Rous 1 31 Jan 13, 2019 05:47PM  

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Emma grew up in England, Indonesia, Kuwait, Portugal and Fiji, and from a young age she had two ambitions: to write stories, and to look after animals. She studied veterinary medicine and zoology at the University of Cambridge, then worked as a small animal veterinary surgeon for eighteen years before starting to write fiction. Emma lives near Cambridge in England with her husband and three sons, ...more

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We're four months into 2019 and we can now reveal the biggest mysteries and thrillers of the far! We've crunched our...
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“I already know it could be no later, because on the same day Danny and I were born, our mother jumped from the cliffs behind our house and killed herself.” 0 likes
“The fact that I was taking the contraceptive pill, and that I’m tall and gained weight all over without a distinct bump, made its persistence all the more possible.” 0 likes
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