“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 nail-biting psychological thriller about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.
Is it cold where you live? I live in Florida and “cold” for us is 50 in the winter. In fact, 50 calls for boots, long sleeves, pants and possibly a sweater or a jacket. It also calls for staying inside and reading a good book or two (or three or four)….. As part of BookSparks’ Winter Reading Challenge – #Wintervention – I’m posting about The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty.
In the book description (see above), this book is described as “a nuanced and nail-biting psychological thriller about the dark recesses of the human mind and the dangerous consequences of long-buried secrets.” The truth? This book wasn’t all that much of a thriller – but it was actually a good book anyway.
The story is about Anne Morgan, a high profile chef at a popular London restaurant. Her boyfriend (and boss) leaves her for another woman, and she’s too embarrassed to keep working in the culinary world. She’s desperate for change – a change by way of a new job and a change in environment. Anne has a celebrity idol – Emma Helmsley – a very Martha Stewart “ish” kind of celebrity. As luck has it, Ms. Helmsley is in need of a housekeeper and the opportunity seems too good to be true for Anne.
Emma Helmsley writes books, has a website and does a blog, all of which advise her many followers on how to live a balanced life. She’s got two well-adjusted teenage children, Jake and Lily, with her “high profile” academic husband, Rob. Everything about them seems like the perfect family. Once Anne takes the housekeeper job, she starts seeing first hand exactly how the Helmsleys live – she sees their dirty laundry. She begins to realize that even while the Helmsleys have their secrets, she too has her own past secrets that might just ruin everything.
While it sounded great and I was expecting a page-turning, could not put it down thriller, it was still an enjoyable book. The more pages I read, the more of the story appeared and layer by layer of secrets and lies were exposed so that the truth beneath was becoming revealed. While I was expecting more of a “thriller”, it wasn’t but it made for a different kind of book than I expected. I did feel that it was a good read and well written.
Who is Suellen Dainty? Here’s what she says at her Official Website:
“Thanks for visiting. My new novel, The Housekeeper, will be published in February 2017 by Atria/Simon and Schuster. I hope you read it and like it.
“My first novel, After Everything, was published in 2014, again by Atria/Simon and Schuster. Soon after, Target selected me as one of their 2015 Emerging Authors.
“I grew up in Sydney, where I worked as a journalist and television reporter before moving to England two decades ago. I’ve worked for Sky News as a producer and director for the original series of The Book Show.
“I’ve also run a B and B, worked as a cook, a gardener and a carer. I live in London, where I like writing in the London Library, walking the Thames River towpath and going to the theatre as often as possible.”
In exchange for this post, I received a complimentary paperback copy of this book from the publishers and BookSparks as part of the Winter Reading Challenge #Wintervention 2017 (#WRC2017).