Thursday, July 12, 2018

Creepy, Compelling Our House Chills Me Right to the Bone

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Fiona "Fi" Lawson has had enough of her husband's infidelity.  Bram's latest betrayal has thrown her life into a tailspin, but she refuses to let it completely uproot those of their two young sons.  Even she can admit that while Bram has failed as a spouse, he's an engaged, loving father.  He deserves to be in the boys' lives.  In order to provide the kids as much stability as possible, Fi and Bram agree to a "bird's nest" custody arrangement.  The children will remain in the family home, while the parents take turns living there with them.  

It's an unusual situation, but one that works surprisingly well—until the day Fi comes home from a trip to find strangers moving into her home.  With Bram and the boys nowhere in sight, Fi's sure she's the victim of some grand prank.  As the hours drag on with no answers, however, she begins to realize just how thoroughly, how shockingly, how viciously, she's been betrayed.

As a mystery/thriller nut, I've read about all kinds of mind-boggling terrors being enacted on ordinary, unsuspecting people.  Some are too fantastical to be believed, while others are so simple, so plausible, that they chill me right to the bone.  Such is the case with Our House by English author Louise Candlish (available in the U.S. August 7, 2018).  Its premise hooked me as soon as I read it because, really, what could be more horrifying than having your beautiful, safe, valuable home yanked right out from under you?  It's a disturbing thought, one that fuels this compelling novel, causing the reader to burn through its pages trying to figure out what happened and why.  The answers aren't as complex or twisty as I wanted them to be, but I still found the hunt for them engrossing and entertaining.  Despite a depressing end for characters who aren't all that likable in the first place, overall, I enjoyed Our House.  It's convincing and creepy in a way that had me questioning my husband about who actually owns our houses ...

(Readalikes:  Hm, I can't really think of anything.  Can you?)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for strong language, violence, and sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of Our House from the generous folks at Penguin Random House.  Thank you!

9 comments:

  1. I think I would freak out if I came home and someone else was living in my home. Sounds totally creepy, but interesting.

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  2. Well dang! I have this one on my list and I’m sure I’ll still read it but I’m depressed to hear that, once again, we have a suspense with unlikeable characters. :( What’s up with that?

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    1. Right? Both the husband and wife in this one are sympathetic in some ways, but they're also very flawed and just not all that likable. I'm not sure why this is the norm lately ...

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  3. You had me at creepy...and lost me at depressing end. ;D

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    1. These kinds of books tend to be depressing, but this one seems especially so.

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  4. I've read this author, not this book. Creepy yes I like, depressing no.

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    1. I haven't read anything else by Candlish. I agree with you -- I like creepy, not depressing.

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  5. Yes the believable ones are the most creepy!

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