Review: Our House
Our House, Louise Candlish
To be Published August 7, 2018 Berkley
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 co-parenting 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.
I started reading this book while on vacation, and I easily found myself turning page after page (or at least tapping the forward button on my kindle) curious to discover what exactly had happened.
Past events are doled out through three different methods: a third person narrative of scenes, a transcript of sorts from Fi's interview with a popular podcast, and a letter that Bram is writing in a word document. As I started reading I was deeply curious about how the house gets stolen out from under Fiona's nose, and with each new piece of information it becomes apparent that the list of Bram's transgressions is long and most are a complete secret from the people in his life. And it's here that you start to wonder why or how Bram is capable of making such deeply terrible decisions, some of which is explained later in the book, but even with the additional psychological explanations, it's a lot to swallow.
There was a minor twist built into the dueling narratives, but one that I guessed at before it was revealed, diminishing some of the punch.
I was rooting for Fi, and even rooting for Bram in at least his role as a father, but by the end of the book it became clear that no one in this story was capable of doing the right thing. While I found the end of the book to be extremely frustrating, I ultimately realized that part of what made it such a compelling read was the hypocrisy of it all- the desperation of these two people to keep their sons lives positive, when in the end their actions can only poison their children.
Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing for allowing me to read an early edition of the book in exchange for a fair and honest review.