Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Our House by Louise Candlish

Kindle Edition416 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Berkley (first published April 5th 2018)


What They Say......There's nothing unusual about a new family moving in at 91 Trinity Avenue. Except it's her house. And she didn't sell it.

When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she's sure there's been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern coparenting arrangement: bird's nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona's children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram's not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

What I Say..... I try not to rage blog, because I have so much respect for anyone that can sit down and write a book, much less get it published.  However, for this book, I'll make an exception.  

Fair warning, this will contain ALL the spoilers.  Fiona Lawson is coming home from a romantic weekend with her new lov-ah, when she sees movers outside of her house.  Moving other people's belongings INTO her house.  She is understandably shocked, and here our story begins.

First of all, this is told in alternating perspectives, in the form of a true crime podcast and a suicide note.  Fi is #VictimFi in the podcast, and it is the type of podcast everyone would listen to and discuss how they can't be as stupid as they think, because look at this woman.  Her husband is the one writing a novella suicide note as he backpacks across Europe.

#VictimFi (and she is truly life's victim), has decided to divorce her drunken, cheating husband after she finds him having sex with a neighbor in the kid's playhouse.  The husband is sorry, but this isn't the first time and she's apparently over it.  Bram has always broken the rules, but he's a good dad, so Fi decides to have the world's kindest uncoupling since Gwyneth Paltrow.  

Show me a middle aged woman who decides to divorce her cheating husband, and has no anger towards him, wants to share the house - a "bird's nest" arrangement and immediately meets a handsome stranger in a local bar and starts a supportive new relationship.  Seriously, show her to me.  

Anyway.....Bram has a an anger management problem, and a speeding problem, and a drinking problem (Fi: but he's a great father!), and has had his driver's license suspended but doesn't want Fi to know, because she might not let him stay with the kids on the weekends because he has to drive them around.  What else can a great father do but start driving on a suspended license?  And then when he's late for a work presentation, what else could you expect him to do but drive?

It's obviously not his fault that he drinks after his presentation, and then drives through residential streets to avoid the police, and tries to pass a jerk who he thinks is driving too slow, who then won't let him back in, causing an oncoming car to swerve and hit a house.  Mom and daughter are critically injured, but both Bram and the other driver leave the scene.  

I honestly can't believe I'm devoting this much time to writing this review - it really sucked that much.  

Bram is now worried that the other occupants will die and that he will get caught.  Both are hospitalized with critical injuries.  But how can he admit what happened? He was driving on a suspended license.  He could go to jail for up to 4 years.  More if they DIE.  

Meanwhile, what's a guy to do but hook up with a lady looking at you in a bar?  In the world's worst walk of shame, the next morning she tells Bram she saw him leave the scene and now wants a ridiculous amount of money in order to keep quiet.

Now throughout this book, Fi harps on and on about how much their house is worth, how the neighborhood is a family, how important this house is to her, she wants to leave it to her sons so they can raise their families in it - umm, okay, it's a house?

But now the one night stand has an accomplice, and he tells Bram to sell the house, the chickie will pretend to be Fi, and they will pocket the money and he can leave the country.  Like seriously, sell your house without your spouse's knowledge so you can pay off blackmailers because you drove drunk on a suspended license and don't want to go to jail.  At what point do you say, what the eff?  The answer if you are Bram is, you don't.

Because he's such a great dad, he doesn't want to leave his kids while he goes to jail.  Not bad enough to take a goddamn Uber, but you know how it is.  Btw, the child in the other car died.

He makes a series of stupid decisions, dumps the car in a crappy neighborhood, reports it stolen, but he can't even get an Audi successfully taken when he leave the keys in it. Yep, he's that bad.

Then we find out Fi's boyfriend is actually the blackmailer, because why not?  It is a little unbelievable that a newly separated mother would immediately meet Mr. Right, but she's this gullible.  He won't let her take his picture, she's never gone to his house, but it's all good, right?

Meanwhile, Bram throws an open house, sells the house and disappears, leaving the boys with his mom.  He's traveling across Europe, writing his suicide novel.  Turns out his dad also committed suicide, after hitting an old man driving drunk.  So Bram decides that suicide has been what his life has been leading to since he was born.  Holy God, how about therapy?  How about AA?  He literally thinks he's the victim in this scenario, he says sure I made a mistake but if these people weren't blackmailing me, we wouldn't be here.  

Meanwhile, Fi, Miss Holier Than Thou, is realizing what her husband has done, and that her new boyfriend wasn't really ever interested in her.  He calls her fat, and takes off when he realizes that  Bram has double crossed him.  So of course she lures him to the apartment and poisons his with alcohol and sleeping pills.  He chokes on his vomit and dies.  Then she calls one of her best friends to help her, and of course this pregnant housewife does, because she's the one that Fi caught screwing her husband in the playhouse.  "I didn't think this is what it would take for you to speak to me again.".  These two clean the crime scene and call the cops, framing Bram for the murder since he won't be coming back.  Yep, you read that right, #VictimFi just killed a man for stealing her house and calling her fat.  

Bram changed the account number the house money was deposited into and although he knows the police will tie it up for 3-4 years as evidence, he feels like he did Fi right.  So he kills himself, because you know, he's such a good dad.  And this is his gift to them, that they not be ashamed of him.  Or you know, see how a grown man takes accountability for his actions.  

Writing this review has been therapeutic.  I've never read a book with characters that repulsed me quite as much as this one.  I deserve to buy two books as a reward for reading this one.  

Current Goodreads Rating 3.71 - so obviously I'm the odd man out.  I want to hear from someone who loved this book. Explain it to me, please!

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