Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Housekeeper by Joy Fielding ~ A Book Review

The Housekeeper by Joy Fielding is a book that will give you shivers up your spine and really make you stop and think!  While it is considered a "novel", it has threads of real life tied up in there too!

Anyone looking after ailing parents or relatives will be able to put themselves into this story!  

Joy Fielding manages to make you stop in your tracks and really think about the possibilities that happen when you put your trust into someone to look after your loved ones.  


                                                 Image by Tania Van den Berghen from Pixabay

Those of us who were born in the 1940's, 50's and beyond and are still blessed enough to have our parents here with us, are looking at the needs of the elderly through eyes that are living the reality of having aging parents and loved ones.  It is not easy! 

Right now I am the one responsible for both my mother and my uncle who are 91 and 92 respectively. I am lucky though because both of them are in fairly good health and still manage to live on their own.  I do a lot of running back and forth for them, but that is a minor job (so to speak). I can't imagine how much more difficult it would be should they be so ill as to not be able to live on their own.  I guess that is one reason that this book really hit a homerun with me!

Back to the "Book",  The Housekeeper is a rare find for Jodi!  She is busy with her real estate business which just happens to be booming.  Her father, Vic, whose personality is very controlling and his wife Audrey are her parents.  Audrey is diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and her health is quickly  deteriorating.     

Jodi's father decides to stop working (he was the founder of the real estate office) to look after his wife.  While this seems to be a great way to cope with their changing circumstances, it really isn't working out very well.  Audrey needs more help than her husband can provide.  They are well off financially, so it seems that outside help would be a good answer to the growing needs of Jodi's parents.  Her father (in whose eyes Jodi never seems to shine) is NOT happy with this change in his life.  He doesn't want another person in the house, yet, he agrees to give a housekeeper a chance.

Jodi sees the need to look for outside help, even though her father is still adamant that he can cope.  She herself,  is not able to do what needs to be done on a daily basis, so she starts her search for "The Housekeeper".  Her hope is that with someone to do the cooking and cleaning for her parents, her father and mother will be  free to spend their time together and still live a comfortable life in their own home.  Hopefully her dad will come to realize this is a good choice to make.

That's when Elyse shows up for the job!  She herself is a "younger senior", quite lively and willing to do the work that Vic cannot!  

This is where things start to go wrong and yet, Elyse is the answer to Jodi's prayers, or so it seems.  Her children love the "housekeeper" and her dad seems to have a little more bounce in his steps since she arrived. 

What could possibly go wrong?

I'm going to leave the story here only because I know you will want to know what happens next.  

The Housekeeper is a story that had me thinking for days after I finished closing the book.  I know you will find it interesting and I would even call it riveting.  I could not put this book down.

Maybe it's because this is where my life is at right now, or maybe it's because I never thought of the possibilities that could happen, but this book really opened my eyes.

While it's a novel and none of the story is true or real, this story could be a reality and that is the scary part.  This is a thriller, murder/mystery and is due for publication on the 16th of August this year.  It is a timely topic that I'm sure will have many people talking!

Put "The Housekeeper" by Joy Fielding on your Must Read List, I know you won't be disappointed.




Happy Reading!


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6 comments:

  1. I am almost afraid to read the book! lol Actually, it sounds like a great book and even through it is fiction, gives food for thought for anyone who is considering getting a "housekeeper" for their elderly parents. I am already familiar with a few real life situations that may be similar to the book. It is a frightening idea to have a stranger move in, or even visit daily, those who could not defend themselves or would not be believed if they try to tell someone what is happening. Putting this book on my reading list!

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    Replies
    1. Don't be afraid, I would be more fearful not having read this book. It is a page-turner for sure!

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  2. I can just imagine the things that could go wrong when you have a virtual stranger move into your home. Too often the elderly can be taken in by someone whose motives are not what you thought when you hired them. 'The Housekeeper' plot sounds like just such a scenario. Thanks for your recommendation, Olivia.

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    1. You are so welcome. It was a good book and I forgot to mention that it takes place in Toronto! Geographically I was able to pinpoint where all of this was happening (virtually of course)!

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  3. My husband and I moved in with my elderly parents, which allowed them to live their final years in their own home. The many trips to and from the doctors’ offices alone were extremely time-consuming and draining, especially since I don’t drive and we were dependent on senior ride-sharing services. After Dad died, Mom went downhill rapidly and we could no longer care for her ourselves. We were blessed to have wonderful hospice nurses who came in shifts to help us out (and allow us to get a few hours of sleep), and U don’t know what we would have done without them. I worked from home, so I was able to keep an eye on things, but I can easily imagine how badly things could go wrong with an unscrupulous live-in housekeeper or home health aide. This storyline sends chills up my spine!

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  4. Oh it did that for me too. So far I'm lucky that both of the elderly that I'm looking after are still in reasonable health, so no need for a "Housekeeper" but who knows what will happen and that is the scariest of all!

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