Our House. Louise Candlish. Penguin Publishing Group. August 2018. 416 pp. ISBN#: 9780451489111.
Fiona and Bram have been living a “charmed life” up to now in contemporary England. They own a gorgeous home in the “posh” section of London, slightly above their means but nothing to worry about. Now, Fiona and Bram decide to separate; they will each live in their home during the week and the other one will stay in a rented apartment. It takes some adjustment but they handle it with the best possible equanimity, mainly by just forging ahead and never getting around to talking about it all. Then one day Fiona arrives home to discover it’s not her home anymore. First, she thinks it’s a terrible joke but then there is intense shock, made much worse that Bram cannot be reached by phone or by any of his peers/friends.
The premise behind this mysterious mystery is not one most readers will easily relate to but suffice to say that Bram’s very poor in choosing options. What also might be amusing to some but comes across as somewhat incredible is that both start seeing other men and women but these experiences are low-key and hardly satisfying beyond the first infatuation flush. The story is told from two narrative viewpoints.
The story behind their forced separation is tragic, to say the least. One wonders how one would have handled a similar situation. Of course, there are always evil characters quick to appear and make the most out of the incredible opportunity.
Our House is listed as a thriller per the unending tension behind Bram who is constantly being afraid he will be arrested and therefore contemplating suicide and being threatened by the many involved in the plot against him. That gets old because it is repeated so often and starts to seem like “Cry, Wolf.”
The other problem with this storyline is that the characters are somewhat stereotypical, remaining undeveloped and truly unchanging in spite of the disasters happening around and to them.
This is a nice summer read that some will enjoy as a unique mystery with a little bit of suspect romance in between the conflict.