The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet is a book that I got through quite quickly. It is concise, to the point and each chapter moves the story forward a little more. I would say that it is more of a marital/family drama with a touch of thrilling erotica, but I enjoyed it for how it was written and the different perspectives throughout. The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet was published on 3 May by Doubleday. This is my review for my stop on the blog tour!
The House Swap begins with a couple taking a trip, which involves a house swap, to keep working on their marriage as they have for the past two years. Very early on, it is apparent that the woman, Caroline has had an affair two years previously. The story is told through the first person perspective of Caroline in the past and present, as well as the present “house swapper” perspective with occasional glances from Francis’ (husband) perspective. As they spend more time in the house, Caroline realises that there are things cropping up from her past in this house and it isn’t normal. As she goes down the road of discovery, she sees how her life and those around her have been altered. People and relationships are fragile and threatened throughout.
What I liked
I liked Carl; Caroline’s lover, because he clearly loves her and would do anything for her. He is very excited to be around her and presents justifiable arguments for them being together without ever saying a word. I thought that the scenes between the two of them were well-written, as were the opposing scenes with Francis, showing the obvious juxtaposition between the two relationships. I thought that the story was well-written and well-told, with the central themes really sticking with me. I liked the way that the story writing goes along with the feelings of disquiet , having those tense moments being explained away.
I also liked the basic storyline; what would you do if you had to fix everything while it’s all falling apart. This is very topical and probably relates to multiple couples. Caroline in this sense is an agreeable character; she’s done everything to make her marriage work despite taking a wrong turning down the line. I thought that Francis was rather well developed and their son had a great personality for himself. The family dynamic was authentic and Fleet wrote it with style.
The main improvements I would give to this novel are: give Francis and Caroline a chance and some context. Sure, Caroline’s unhappy, but she doesn’t know how to express it in a way that makes much sense. She goes off with her stable boy because her husband is basically being an idiot. And Francis; where is his backstory?
If you’ve got an addiction, that’s fine, but there was no real context on how it developed and the few sections from his perspective were not really enough to take in the full picture.
Overall, I would recommend this book as a family drama or erotic thriller to be honest, as it was less tense and nerve-wracking, but I liked the salacious scenes and enjoyed getting to know the family dynamic to guess at how the story would pan out. It is not a conventional thriller, but I believe that readers of Tasmina Perry would enjoy it. Thank you Poppy Stimpson, formerly of Transworld for my proof and finished copies of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review on my stop of the blog tour.