The Housekeeper: A Novel

By Suellen Dainty

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The Housekeeper

Suellen Dainty has created such a sense of place and lifestyle here that I genuinely didn’t mind if nothing happened. I was as entranced as Anne by the languorous half-lived lives of her employers and their offspring, the ramshackle house with its stained curtains and rickety chairs, the grumpy dog, the slapdash parties and peculiar friends. I wanted Anne’s job, I wanted to fold up their laundry and hear their secrets, let them unburden themselves to me. The fact that there was also a rip-roaring story of shocking betrayal and childhood trauma underpinning the whole thing was just the cherry on top. I loved, loved, loved this book and cannot recommend it highly enough.
— Lisa Jewell, New York Times best-selling author
In THE HOUSEKEEPER, Dainty writes with such nuance that I felt completely submerged in the Helmsley’s world. I actually loved the characters of Emma and Rob, until of course, I hated them. And even after all is revealed, they act with such infuriating obliviousness, I couldn’t help but fly through the pages, anxious for them to receive their just desserts. Gorgeous writing, wonderful characterisation, immersive atmosphere and a final twist that I did not see coming!
— Kate Moretti, New York Times best-selling author
A compelling setup, intriguing characters, expertly handled plot, full of sharp details and insight. I couldn’t stop reading it!
— Lottie Moggach, author of Kiss Me First
The Housekeeper is a tense, compelling story of memory, madness and family secrets. Dainty’s lush prose drew me into an orderly, domestic world where eerie images of the past lurk beneath charming, polished surfaces. I fell under this novel’s urgent spell—page by page to its shattering betrayal — and could not pull myself away.
— Karen Brown, author of The Clairvoyants, The Longings of Wayward Girls, Pins and Needles and Little Sinners
I could not stop reading this book till the last page was turned. Suspenseful and intriguing, wise, funny and shocking. This is a thriller for an age obsessed with celebrity, and all too ready to give its heart away to glamorous gurus.
— Elisabeth Gifford, author of The Sea House and Return to Fourwinds

When Anne Morgan’s successful restaurateur 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 from her heartbreak.

Meanwhile, her celebrity idol, Emma Helmsley - England’s answer to Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey - is in need of a housekeeper.  The opportunity seems too good to be true.

Landing the job, Anne is soon entranced by a high profile world of constant parties and media appearances where Emma advises her devoted followers on how to live a balanced life in a hectic world. Her husband, Rob, is a prominent academic and television personality, in the midst of writing a book about a rogue psychologist who once led a notorious and secret cult. They’re a successful and sought after couple with two well-adjusted teenage children, Jake and Lily. To the outside world, they’re the perfect modern family.

But as Anne becomes more enmeshed in the Helmsley’s dirty laundry, both literally and figuratively, she discovers that underneath the dust, grime, and whimsical clutter, everyone has a secret to hide. And as she frantically strives to maintain order, 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.