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The Nesting

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  426 ratings  ·  246 reviews
The woods are creeping in on a nanny and two young girls in this chilling modern Gothic thriller.

Architect Tom Faraday is determined to finish the high-concept, environmentally friendly home he's building in Norway – in the same place where he lost his wife, Aurelia, to suicide. It was their dream house, and he wants to honor her with it.

Lexi Ellis takes a job as his nanny
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 15th 2020 by HarperCollins (first published September 29th 2020)
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Chelsea Humphrey
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Berkley Publishing Group
What a solid gothic thriller! No one is more surprised that I am that a book which initially felt like a The Turn of the Key copycat became so much more. Please note going in, that you will need to suspend your disbelief and take this story for what it is: a supernatural (ish) gothic mystery with some heavy handed plot holes that comes out shining at the end.

Lexi has unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and finds herself alarmingly alone in the beginning of this book. Her boyfriend of 8 years turn
CJ Cooke writes a hauntingly atmospheric novel with gothic overtones set amidst Norway's magnificent ancient forests and fjords, a location that serves as a central character in itself. The fragile and vulnerable Lexi Ellis is not in a good place, with a broken relationship behind her, she is suicidal, depressed and virtually homeless. Her desperation leads her to take on the identity and CV of another woman, Sophie Hallerton, for the purpose of securing the post of a nanny after she overhears a ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Jun 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nordic folktales dances with gothic, claustrophobic vibes and waltzes with ghost stories. It’s a gripping, riveting, fast-pacing, astonishing page-turner even though it had some small plot holes and the beginning of the story has resemblances with Ruth Ware’s “Turn of the key”
The story starts Aurelia’s dying: we are in the dark and we are still not sure if she took her own life or somebody killed her.

And then at the next chapter: we witness a suicide attempt of Lexi: who is our other broken, fra
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
C.J. Cooke checked all the boxes and crossed them with a F (for Fjord, frightening, fantastic, etc.) is this Gothic tale set in a house on a cliff over a Norwegian Fjord! I love books where the location is very much a character in the book. The cliffs, the forest, the Fjords, the folklore, the the things that go bump in the night!

Lexi is down on her luck. She finds herself on the streets trying to pick up the pieces of her life. When she overhears a conversation about a Nanny position in Norway,
♡ oscar ♡
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-releases, 2020
"Vile that the hornet nest should take the shape of a womb, she thinks. With a shudder she imagines a baby inside, its head lowered into the cone."

CJ Cooke's The Nesting isn't necessarily my kind of great story but still great nonetheless. This is my first take on the gothic horror trope and I could say it was such an experience reading this. Everything was just soooo... atmospheric. Imagine a family living in the wilderness in Norwegian woods and unexplainable things keep on happeni

Lexi is at rock bottom. Her life has never been easy, but at this point, she has days where, truth be told, she would rather not be alive.

After her long-term relationship ends and her best friend basically tells her that she is too much to deal with, Lexi knows she must find a way to make a new life for herself.

Riding a train one day, she overhears a conversation that provides her the opportunity to do just that.

Stealing a woman named Sophie's identity, Lexi applies for a position a
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc

A beautifully compelling tale of Gothic suspense and Nordic folklore from (new-to-me) author, C.J. Cooke, who has just earned her way onto my 'must-read' list.

Admittedly, after reading the first few chapters, I was struck by how much The Nesting reminded me of Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key. It quickly evolved into something very different, however, making use of beautifully vivid prose and positively gorgeous descriptions of's fjords, natural beauty, wildlife
Sep 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The offering by Ms Cooke combines elememnts of Gothic novel, suspense and thriller all set in modern-day Norway, with references to Norwegian folklore.
Lexi Ellis, after at attempted suicide, manages by a trick to get a position of a nanny to two girls whose mother died in mysterious circumstances.
The story was quite engaging, and kudos to the reader, Ms Kala whose interpretation is truly good. Some moments were beyond my believability, however, I suppressed it in order to enjoy this book.
I'll admit, I have rather low opinion of "thrillers." The weak female characters, the intellectually lazy sadism, the cliched storylines. But I do enjoy a gothic tale.

It does not get off to a great start. Lexi is recovering from a failed suicide attempt and her support system is comprised of a boyfriend who kicks her out, a pal who dumps her, and an abusive characature of a mother. With no place to go and no one to rely on, Lexi just happens to overhear a girl named Sophie say she is going to tu
Diana • Book of Secrets
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to review this book. THE NESTING is a Gothic mystery with Nordic folklore woven into the story, which sounds like something I'd love, but unfortunately it didn't work for me. The main character Lexi ends up as a nanny in Norway under false pretenses, with the false pretenses part being a weak plotline.

Was there a solid plot? Was this horror or mystery? I'm not sure about either question. The mother of the two girls Lexi is caring for d
Samantha Downing
The Nesting is a gorgeous, atmospheric book that chilled me to the bone. The perfect escape book into the deep woods of Norway, where nothing is as it seems. C.J. Cooke just became one of my favorite authors.
Dannii Elle
Lexi's life is falling apart. Her boyfriend has left her, her best friend has moved in to take her place alongside him, she has no home to call her own, and her depression is weighing heavily upon every decision she makes. A chance encounter and an overheard conversation could prove her salvation, however.

Despite owning no qualifications to do so, Lexi impersonates nanny Sophie and moves to Norway to enrol as caretaker for two motherless girls. Their father, and her new boss, is an award-winning
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book! My favorite sort of suspense story is gothic, dark and atmospheric -- and this tale pressed all those buttons. The basics have been done before -- a down-on-her-luck young woman takes a nanny position....tells some lies to get it, in fact. Lexi believes she can escape her darkness....but ends up in a strange house on a cliff with weird happenings going on....did she run from darkness only to find more dark? Did the children's mother commit suicide....or did something more grue ...more
Isabel • The Crime Bookshelf

If there was a perfect book for me, it would be this one. I am so completely blown away by how much I loved this book + it’s definitely a new favorite of all time 🙌🏼

The atmosphere of this book was absolute perfection. The story is set in Norway along a fjord, which was such a beautiful setting 🇳🇴🌊 I really loved how nature was such a big part of this story + I thought it was SO unique. Not only that, but I fell in love with the Nordic folklore aspect of this story. It was so beyond
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She lied about who she was, but she never realized that her desperation for a job would never match the desperation she would feel to survive. THE NESTING by C.J. Cooke is a razor-sharp, garrote tight thriller that will leave readers chilled.

Terrifying, heavy with atmosphere and an undefinable darkness, this tale takes readers to a secluded mountain in Norway where what one sees on the surface may not be the true reality. A fabulously gritty read that will leave the answers just out of reach unt
Katie P
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you Berkley and Netgalley for the gifted e-copy.

Ummm...can you say UNRELIABLE NARRATORS? Plural???? This book was filled with them, and I totally loved it.

Lexi is a hot mess - boyfriend dumps her, no job, homeless, tried to commit suicide but it didn't work...she overhears some girls on a train talking about a nannying opportunity in Norway, and she's like "oh cool, I can do that. I'm just going to pretend to be this girl Sophie and apply!"

It works. And Lexi is now Sophie, an expert at veg
Adrian Dooley
Not for me unfortunately. A rather muddled and overlong read.

Its the story of Lexi, who we are introduced to at the start. In her late 20s, severely depressed and having just survived a suicide attempt, the opening part of the book is narrated by her as her life slowly falls apart as her boyfriend leaves her, she finds herself homeless with no money.

Finding her boyfriends rail ticket, she hops on the first train she can find. She is still riddled with depression, her sanity and her life on a kni
A wonderful dark nordic tale, filled with twists and turns.
Creepy forest, creepy river, creepy history, creepy location, creepy dark things lurking, muddy footprints, grabby things, lies, bad omens, dark tales and several mysteries. Yes, it was creepy, dark, and twisted. The setting was amazing, perfect for the tale, Norway’s deep forested Fjords. The children were read Nordic tales, which only added to the creepy level and made me question if it was supernatural or not. The scenery was so intri
Erin A. Craig
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh. My. Stars. I loved this book!
Sep 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-netgalley
When I started reading The Nesting, I was reminded of Ruth Ware's The Turn of the Key. If you haven't read that book, this isn't a spoiler, but if you have, the striking similarities between Lexi and Rowan do not continue throughout the story.
Lexi has hit rock bottom. After a failed suicide attempt, she lost her job, her boyfriend breaks up with her, she has very little money, and nowhere to go. While on the train, trying to come up with some kind of plan, fate intervenes. Two women start talkin
Lou Jacobs
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lexi Ellis can't seem to do anything right ... even attempting suicide. When released from the hospital she learns her life is ablaze. Her long-time boyfriend "throws her out" with an ultimatum to leave in the morning. She realizes she has no home, no job. ... and her best friend tells her that she's moving in with her ex. Feeling hopeless and homeless , she decides to ride the train all day, using her ex's rail pass. She overhears two young woman discussing the reasons why one won't pursue an e ...more
Chandra Claypool (wherethereadergrows)
In need of a gothic thriller mixed with Nordic folklore? Look no further - you NEED this book! When I read the prologue, I was expecting a completely different story from the one I got. If you read a ton of thrillers like I do, you may think the prologue is familiar to what you have read before but fret you not - this is such a unique and suspenseful read. And the prologue comes full circle towards the end of the book and I love how everything intertwined.

Lexi truly grew on me as a character and
Marc Bougharios
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.25 stars

C.J Cooke is amazing at writing psychological thrillers and I fell in love with her writing after reading her first novel, I Know My Name. When I heard that she was coming out with a new novel and when I read the premise, I knew that I HAD to get my hands on this!! I was very fortunate to get a galley of this book and so the adventure began.

Lexi broke up with her boyfriend and is practically homeless. When a nannying position becomes available out of the blue, she does whatever she can
2.5 stars--somewhere between "it was OK" and "I liked it."

This book opens with a truly gothic scenario, which of course I love. (I'm always up for women in their nightgowns running through the forest!) I enjoyed the creepy folklore elements and remote setting of the book. A few times it was actually quite chilling.

However, I thought the characterization was muddled, and there were some plot holes that I couldn't forgive. If this book lost 30 pages or so, I think it could be a tight thriller. But
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke definitely earns its label of Gothic suspense, though I have to say it’s a different and interesting take on the subgenre. To be sure, what I enjoyed most about the book was its atmosphere, thick and heavy with intrigue. When it comes to reader engagement and thrills though, the story might have stumbled a little due to lack of cogency and uneven pacing.

Much of this novel takes place in the Norw
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy a good thriller. I sift through countless ones to find something that stands out. It’s such a popular genre these days, specifically these women thriller, authored by and driven by females, and this one actually actively went for doing something different, so kudos. That different something being a steady infusion of supernatural elements into the plot. In fact, so much so that it became a new beast altogether. At first easily classified as a supernatural thriller, this story of a young ...more
Jun 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I do like a good scary read every now and then. And “The Nesting” (thanks, NetGalley) sounded like a good candidate.

Our main character is Lexi, who has had a troubled life and is currently drifting … until she happens to sit behind a lady on the train one day and eavesdrops on her conversation. Long story short, Lexi assumes the other lady’s identity, and has soon become the nanny to two young girls who live with their widowed dad in the woods and fjords of Norway, where he is building a house.

“Once upon a time I thought that I’d be better off dead.”

The Nesting by C.J. Cooke is incredibly atmospheric and deeply rooted in Nordic folklore and culture. It is at times a thriller and at times a horror with supernatural elements in a deeply gothic setting. Set in the forests of Norway in the deepest part of winter, it follows Lexi who in a moment of desperation, steals Sophies identity and resume in order to obtain a position as a nanny in order to explore her imaginary roots there. Lex
Simoné Eloff
Audiobook ARC received via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

Although this was pretty good, I don't feel like there's much I can say about it. I really liked the fact that this is set in Norway, as the folklore and landscape really bring a new twist to the gothic style, but it just didn't have as much of an eerie atmosphere as I would have liked. I think this is partly due to the narrator, who, while really being a good narrator overall, doesn't seem to suit the genre properly. Reading
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
Mesmerizing. Norway is an undeniable force in this ethereal suspense tale. As with Ruth Ware's "The Turn of the Key," there is a hastily accepted nanny position for active little girls in a far-flung location and there is a house with a creepy vibe. Although I would heartily recommend this title to Ruth Ware fans, I will also make it very clear that this new title from C.J. Cooke excels on its own merits. The creep factor is a bit more dialed up than I prefer, but the arc of the narrative contai ...more
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C. J. Cooke is an award-winning poet and novelist published in twenty-three languages. She teaches creative writing at the University of Glasgow, where she also researches the impact of motherhood on women's writing and creative writing interventions for mental health.

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