This book was definitely a one that I read after being heavily influenced by fellow bookstagrammers. I have seen rave reviews for it, including the audiobook. I decided to give it a try on my long holiday drive. I am proud to say that this is actually the first fiction audiobook I have listened to in its entirety.
A maid with a criminal past begins working for a rich family only to find out they have secrets of their own.
Every day I clean the Winchesters’ beautiful house top to bottom. I collect their daughter from school. And I cook a delicious meal for the whole family before heading up to eat alone in my tiny room on the top floor.
I try to ignore how Nina makes a mess just to watch me clean it up. How she tells strange lies about her own daughter. And how her husband Andrew seems more broken every day. But as I look into Andrew’s handsome brown eyes, so full of pain, it’s hard not to imagine what it would be like to live Nina’s life. The walk-in closet, the fancy car, the perfect husband.
I only try on one of Nina’s pristine white dresses once. Just to see what it’s like. But she soon finds out… and by the time I realize my attic bedroom door only locks from the outside, it’s far too late.
But I reassure myself: the Winchesters don’t know who I really am.
They don’t know what I’m capable of…
The Housemaid is a domestic psychological thriller about a live-in housemaid with a secret past who discovers that her new employers have secrets of their own. It heavily relies on several tropes, but the ends redeems the story a bit.
I found that The Housemaid took more than half of the book for anything much to happen. There are small events in the first half but nothing very exciting. I thought it was a long slog to the first real twist. When the story does pick up, it goes off the rails and throws all kinds of craziness at you. The last quarter of this book along with the ending is by far the best part. It is the only portion that had me invested and rushing to find out what happens. I will say that this is one thriller that requires a complete suspension of belief to enjoy its unhinged storyline.
The Housemaid was ultimately a fun read but not groundbreaking. Perhaps I have read too many thrillers, but this plot was unoriginal. I have read several books like it, and I knew the plot twist very early on.
This book lacked character development, although that is not unusual for thrillers, particularly tropey ones. Millie, the main character and narrator, was definitely the most developed.
The writing is not going to win any literary awards, but that made it an easy listen. I did enjoy the bits of dark humor sprinkled throughout the book.
Other than the unoriginality, the thing I struggled with the most in The Housemaid was the depiction of mental health. I am tired of thrillers creating unreliable characters through misrepresentation of mental health issues. I especially expected more from an author who is a medical professional. In addition, there were some inaccuracies in calling prison jail and vice versa. Finally, there was also an unnecessary romance towards the end that did not add anything to the story. Instead, it just brought up a lot of questions and seemed to be out of character or at least confused a character’s intentions.
Overall, The Housemaid is a popcorn thriller that is a quick, easy read. Despite the fact I did not find it the most original, I can not deny that this was a fun and enjoyable read. The sequel will be published in February 2023, and I will be picking it up because I find Millie an interesting character and can always use more fun in my life.
August 23, 2022