Monday, February 6, 2023

February Read: The Housemaid by Freida McFadden


BookTok is going wild for this novel, and I'd seen enough people talking about it that I thought I would see what the buzz was all about. 

Millie is broke and living out of her car. Recently released from prison after 10 years, she's just lost her bartending job and been evicted from her apartment. She's got one shot left at a new job, and it's as housekeeper to a wealthy family on Staten Island. 

Millie is so relieved to accept the job--and she even gets to stay at the house-in a very tiny attic room that appears to lock from the outside. The window in the room is painted shut, and it's not the best. But it's better than her car, and she just wants to stay long enough to save money and stay out of trouble. 

Nina Winchester appears to have the life: a loving, handsome husband, a young daughter and a beautiful home. But Millie's first day at work is really odd: the home which was immaculate just the week before is now a complete disaster, and young Cecelia is a horrible brat. Not only that, but she's dressed in very fancy dresses no young girl would ever willingly wear. Nina is nice one minute, and horrible to Millie the next. 

Millie thinks she's doing everything wrong, as Nina finds mistake after mistake. Andrew, her husband, is just so kind, and quick as a wink, Millie is having some feelings for him--her boss. Ugh. 

It all seems pretty cut and dried and I wasn't really surprised by the plot; but once you hit Part II, things shift very fast. Part I is told from Millie's point of view, and the second part is told from Nina's point of view. They are two very different points of view, and there is one heck of twist. It's the first of a few twists. Part III moves back to Millie's point of view, and action happens fast. There are some points in the last bit of the book that are tied up just a bit too easily, but that's my only complaint. Let's just say you don't feel bad about why some issues are so easily resolved.

I'm not saying anything more, I don't want to give anything away. It's a really fast read; I finished it in a day. There are some surprises, but nothing that is extreme--even the end.  In any case, it makes a quick thrilling read, with a two strong female characters. Best of all, there is a second Housemaid novel out this month called The Housemaid's Secret. I will definitely read it. 

Rating: 4/6 for a fast paced thriller that mostly takes place in a home. Somehow the author makes you forget the one setting, and keeps the story moving along. I liked Millie, and yes, even Nina--read the book and you'll see. I'd say you'll want a friend to read it, too. 

Available in paperback, ebook, and audio. 

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