Back Away From Our House

Our House by Louise Candlish is definitely not a summer read. There’s nothing relaxing about this story, so save yourself some unwanted agony, and don’t put this one in your beach tote. Our House isn’t your typical suspenseful, unreliable narrator type of thriller. It’s a tale of domestic anguish that was infuriating to read, and yet, this book was well worth hanging on until the end.

Fiona Lawson is obligated to travel back a day early from her romantic vacation to grab her laptop for a last-minute work report. What should have been a quick errand has transformed into a nightmare. There are moving trucks in her driveway and strangers claiming they just bought her house. What’s worse is that all of her furniture, children’s belongings, and mementos have all disappeared — well, they’ve gone somewhere and someone has moved them. Who are these “new owners” really? And where is all her stuff? Fiona is faced with having to decipher if the new owners are really scammers or if her estranged husband is up to something more nefarious.

I was surprised that there wasn’t the possibility of some sort mental illness or memory loss backstory to Our House. When I added the book to my queue, I was positive that the misunderstanding stemmed from something more internal.

I started this book on vacation and quickly realized that the story’s escalating events were not conducive to my intended laid-back vacation vibes. It wasn’t a page-turner with mounting suspense, but a series of bad decisions that snowballed into a stressful, emotional mess – for the characters and myself as a reader, hardly what I had planned for poolside reading. I was hating it the whole time. However, it was intriguing enough, that after a pause to read a cozy mystery, I found myself interested to find out how Fiona and Bram (Mr. Lawson) were getting on with their messy relationship. So I read on.

The format of the book was annoying. The story is told from two points of view. Bram’s story is told in sequence from a Word document created sometime after the events, and Fiona’s is from a podcast, complete with a time stamp of where the story left off. After each Fiona passage was a series of tweets from listeners reacting to her revelations. It seemed cheesy, and then annoying, and then it got old. I thought, “There has to be a Part II, right? Where there’s no more podcast and we get down to the facts.” I’ll let you find that out for yourself. The conclusion was a very surprising and satisfying end.

Price: $0.00 on Overdrive

Drink of Choice: Black Forest Freeze

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