The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

“I am the housekeeper, the hired help with a messy past who cleans up other people’s messy lives, the one who protects their messy little secrets.”

When Anne Morgan’s restaurateur boyfriend and boss begins an affair with an investor’s daughter, Anne becomes obsessed with lifestyle guru Emma Helmsley whose Marie Kondo-style lifestyle tips promise to bring order to her newly chaotic existence. And it isn’t too long before she sends a speculative application to be Emma’s housekeeper, so that she can be closer to the lives of Emma and her perfect family.

I’m normally not a fan of books without likeable characters to get behind, but in this single white female with a twist novel, Suellen Dainty has gotten it to work to make The Housekeeper an entertaining story of memory, abuse and betrayal.

5 thoughts on “The Housekeeper by Suellen Dainty

  1. MFlynn

    For some reason, I find the lifestyle guru aspect of this really intriguing. It’s seems like a rather unusual motivation for such an application!

    Reply
    1. Siobhan Post author

      The cult of the lifestyle blogger. Maybe it was my vendetta against Marie Kondo, but I think that was a huge part of what I enjoyed about this. The inevitable hypocrisy of someone who spends lots of time preaching to others about how their lives would be so much better if they could just be good and do x, y and z but who is totally incapable of doing it in their own life.

      Though I concede that my life would be more tranquil if I wasn’t scrambling to pack my daughter’s nursery bag as we’re leaving the house most mornings.

      Reply
  2. Rosie

    I read this book after your recommendation and spent the entire duration yelling in frustration at the awkward writing, predictable outcome and rushed, unrealistic ending. So much yelling and ranting about the crappy writing that my boyfriend has been teasing me ever since and trying to trick me into reading more by “my favourite writer Suellen Dainty”. I came back to re-read your review however and it isn’t as glowing as I remembered. I wondered if you had any more thoughts about it in hindsight?

    Reply
    1. Siobhan Post author

      Oh, Rosie, I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy it. I admit the writing was quite clunky, but it was more the concept I liked than the authors style. The fact that Anne was quite an awkward character probably stopped the writing being as noticeably jarring for me. If you still trust recommendations from me, you should definitely take a look at The Panopticon or Ginny Moon that I’ve reviewed recently. I feel like I need to redeem myself!

      Reply
      1. Rosie

        Haha don’t worry Siobhan, you’ve recommended many a good book so your reputation is pretty sturdy as far as I’m concerned! I’m deeply embedded in The Long Earth series by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter these days — it’ll be a while before I’m ready for a new book, but I’ll be back to browse your shelf when I am 🙂

        Reply

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