Our House
by Candlish, Louise

"From an internationally acclaimed author, a disturbing and addictive novel of domestic suspense where secrets kept hidden from spouses cause shocking surprises that hit home... There's nothing unusual about a new family moving in at 91 Trinity Avenue. Except it's her house. And she didn't sell it. When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she's sure there's been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern coparenting arrangement: bird's nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down. Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona's children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram's not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses"-

Louise Candlish attended University College London and worked as an editor in art publishing and as a copywriter before becoming a novelist. She lives with her husband and daughter.

*Starred Review* Fiona Lawson's picture-perfect life started to fall apart when she caught her husband, Bram, cheating. Newly separated, the Lawsons agree on a bird's-nest custody arrangement, alternating their time in the house to minimize disruption to their two sons. Sharing the house goes smoothly-until one afternoon, Fiona returns home to find all of her possessions missing and a new family moving in. The story unfolds via Fiona's version of the events, which she tells on a popular true-crime podcast, and Bram's version of the events, which he meticulously documents in a suicide-note confession. What seems at the outset to be a troubled husband swindling his wife is something far more complex and disturbing, featuring untrustworthy characters whose deepest secrets become their undoing. Candlish (The Second Husband, 2013), already a best-selling author in her native England, is likely to hit the U.S. best-seller lists with this twisty domestic thriller that features everything readers enjoy about the genre: dark secrets, unreliable narrators, a fast-moving plot, and a terrifyingly plausible premise. This could be summer's breakout hit. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

When a woman discovers strangers moving into her London home, her estranged husband and sons nowhere to be seen, it's only the beginning of the nightmare that will upend her life. Fiona "Fi" Lawson loves her house in the fictional posh Alder Rise neighborhood almost as much as she loves her picture-perfect family: husband Bram and adorably rambunctious sons Harry and Leo. Candlish (The Swimming Pool, 2016, etc.) digs deep for both suspense and compassion but comes up empty with Fi, whose almost stubborn cluelessness about the state of her marriage (Bram is a serial adulterer, among other things) and, later, her insistence on being a victim (so much so that she goes on a podcast called The Victim) make her a sour protagonist at best. When Fi catches Bram having sex with someone else in the children's garden playhouse, she throws him out but decides to try a custody arrangement known as a bird's nest, where the children stay in the family home and the parents alternate living t here and at a newly acquired flat. While the setup seems great on paper, it doesn't take into account the depths of Bram's lies—the yearlong driving ban he's hidden from Fi soon becomes the least of his concerns—and the lengths he'll go to save himself. With the narrative confusingly split into sections from Fi's podcast segment, a Word document that's allegedly Bram's suicide note, and perspectives from both spouses, it's difficult for readers to keep a firm grip on the timeline and to truly care as Bram enters into an unnecessarily complicated blackmail scheme and Fi remains annoyingly oblivious on all fronts even when Bram disappears, having sold the Alder Rise home without her knowledge. In a novel concerned with connection and trust, Candlish fails to connect with readers on either level, serving up characters so wrapped in their own problems that "family" is merely a word to them. Copyright Kirkus 2018 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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