Tuesday 29 March 2022

Review | Our House by Louise Candlish

Published by Simon & Schuster on April 5, 2018

I bought this book a couple of years ago after hearing loads of great things about it. Hooked by the blurb alone, it sounded fascinating and I knew I needed to get my hands on a copy. Of course, like most books I ever buy, I didn’t get to read it straight away and it took me seeing the trailer for the ITV adaptation of the book to give me the nudge to start it. I definitely prefer to read a book before watching the series or film based on it as books just contain more satisfying detail.

When I started the book, the opening chapter reminded me of all the reasons I had been eager to buy it. In fact, the opening sentence was reminder enough. It’s such an intriguing premise and I had all sorts of questions that I was dying to get answers to. The narrative is split in three ways really. There is the big day in question, when Fi discovers a couple moving into her home, and all her belongings gone. Then we also have Fi’s perspective, this time in the shape of a podcast as she goes back over the build up to this day, detailing things about her marriage and her kids and her attachment to their home. The third perspective belongs to Fi’s husband, Bram, who tells his side of the story in a Word document.

Whilst the opening to this book had me gripped, I was a bit disappointed at first to find that the following chapters told a lot more of the back story of Fi and Bram’s relationship rather than more about the reaction to the new people moving into the house. Of course, I knew when reading that this was necessary, but I loved the first chapter’s premise so much that I impatiently wanted more of it. I wanted the drama to continue and I wanted to know just why Fi had discovered a new couple moving into the house she hadn’t sold. With that being said, the dynamics to Fi and Bram’s relationship were fascinating and though the innocent party and the villain are there for you to see, I was eager to learn if all was as it seems.

The more we get to know about Fi and Bram, the more intrigued I was. Their bird's nest custody agreement – that’s something I’ve not read about before and I enjoyed it. The whole concept to the book felt fresh and different and it was a truly memorable read for me.

I don’t know the exact time but there was a moment, when I was about a hundred or so pages in, when I suddenly realised that I was finding the book impossible to put down. I can’t even pinpoint exactly why but there was just something that grabbed me and didn’t let go. I loved all the little twisty moments and the secrets and chaos that these characters lives revolved around. There were twists that weren’t all together unpredictable but still caught me off guard with their delivery, and even though you already have a fair idea of where the book is heading, due to the way it begins, it still had parts that shocked and made me have to re-read bits to get my head around them. That’s without mentioning the sinisterly clever ending that brought the book together perfectly. It was great.

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