Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
So initially I thought this was a pretty good book. We follow Anna (a young mother who is attempting to go back to work and is looking for a live in nanny) and Oaklynn (the nanny in question). Then Hart decides to follow other POV's in this one (Anna's husband Josh, a neighbor of the couple, a police officer, and a FBI agent). Not all of the voices worked for this one. It also didn't help that the book went from being an okay thriller to just throwing in another plot that didn't really work and then the ending which made everything just work out great while denouncing Nazis. Yeah that happened. I am still just baffled.
"The Woman in Our House" follows Anna Klien. Anna has two children and realizes one day (during an eclipse) that she needs to go back to work. She was initially happy about staying home, but is starting to realize she needs more than to be home with her two daughters. Anna's husband Josh agrees and they then start a search for a live-in nanny. After a suggestion that Anna hire from a nanny firm in Utah, Anna apparently picks an older woman named Oaklynn.
Hard pause right here. Do people not interview potential candidates face to face? I have two friends who have live in au pairs and I know they went through a round of interviews with the agencies they used and also they met the young women prior to hiring who also met their kids. I thought the way Hart set up this part of the book was a bit unbelievable to me.
Anna has a lot of insecurities about her life and marriage and after Oaklynn moves in, things get worse. I did like the idea of Anna being a literary agent, but the whole thing with the reveal about the book she was reading didn't work and I rolled my eyes at it. It comes back into play at the end of the book and I wanted to ask Hart did he really believe any reader would be reading this book after what we find out about the author? Has he talked to readers before?
I also really needed to get a better sense of character development with Anna. It took until I think the 10-15 percent mark to even find out that she was Japanese American. Probably didn't help that she and Josh were not really described. The author chose to describe Oaklynn though so why he didn't talk about Anna more in terms of description, height, etc. was odd. Now that I think of it, it's eventually mentioned the kids look "Asian" by another character, but I don't recall specifically if they are described.
Also odd to me was the fact that Hart didn't provide more narration showing why Anna felt apart from things. Was it because she was a Japanese American living in the South? Were the neighbors truly welcoming? Hart plays with this a bit via a secondary character, but I wanted more there. I think it would have been interesting to have some comments about a stay at home mom deciding to go back to work when it seemed the neighborhood they lived in was predominantly stay at home moms.
I thought the initial plot point with Oaklynn was okay, but then it turned into a mess towards the end. I didn't like the character full stop and there were too many plot holes to even be remotely believable. I won't get into them here because I don't want to spoil for potential readers.
The other characters are not that very developed. Hart returns to the character of Josh a few times, but honestly I thought he was kind of an idiot and I loathe books where the married couple seem to all of a sudden not talk. Hart course corrects with this one eventually, but it got old reading about.
The writing was okay though some parts of the book felt so random. Hart interjects racism into this work not with one, but two characters, and at least with one of the character's, it felt unnecessary. And also a bit too cartoon villain as I was reading. The book was also repetitive at times, especially when you get to Anna constantly talking about being eclipsed by her children and Oaklynn. At that point I wondered why Hart and the cover artist didn't just chose a cover with the sun being blotted out.
The flow wasn't that great, but that is probably because the book jumps around via other characters narratives. if Hart had just focused on Anna and Oaklynn the book would have been much tighter and the final reveals would have been more shocking. Due to inviting in some of the POVs you already knew that one of the characters was not as they appeared to be and then we got enough clues about another one.
This book takes place in North Carolina and Hart describes basically beautiful neighborhoods, but people not really knowing what is going on under the surface with their neighbors. I wish that Hart had looked into the other neighborhood characters more besides Mary Beth.
The ending was not believable at all. I literally asked two friends in law enforcement and one friend who is an attorney who went, yeah, that's not going to happen.
As the short synopsis says this is an autobiography book of a widely known and wildly popular and weirdly insane world wide web personality who has millions of subscribers and is loved by millions of people from the world wide web and I dare say millions of people from all over the world. In this book of hers she's very funny, she's very playful, very hilarious, and she's truly sincere when it comes to her sexuality. Which should have been reason enough for you to get it and read the hell out of it. I have to admit that I am not big when it comes to world wide web celebrities or their fan bases, but was completely surprised by her honest approach and the fact that she didn't sugar-coat the whole thing and made it more kid friendly. Whatever the case, I really enjoyed reading about her life prior the world wide web fame and between her world wide web fame, so much that I couldn't help but give it a well-deserved number of stars upon finishing it, and I have a hunch that so will you, for she's quite a catch and really knows how to make people laugh, so this autobiography offers quite a look into her somewhat private, somewhat personal, and somewhat professional life.
I surprised myself by actually finishing 5 books this month. Not a vast amount but I haven't had as much reading time as I'd like and I've been reading samples as well.
The stand-outs of this batch are The Binding and To Kill the President. Black Wings had some interesting ideas but I hated all the characters, apart from the raven.
I have several books in progress that I'm hoping can fit into Snakes and Ladders. The one to leave the square I'm on is getting most attention of course.