House swapping sounds like a fun idea: you get a vacation away from home for cheap, you get someone to watch your house and feed your pets while you’re away, and it’s a chance to literally live in someone else’s shoes for a week. Rebecca Fleet’s The House Swap, however, may make you reconsider the wisdom of even going for an AirBNB.
Caroline and Francis decide to take up an email offer of a house swap. It’s a good opportunity to have some alone time as a couple and possibly repair the damage in their marriage, caused by some prescription drug problems Francis had about two years ago and an affair Caroline had around the same time. But then little things make Caroline realize that the person they’ve swapped houses with seems to know her and a secret she’s wanted to forget. And a woman in the neighbourhood appears a tad too interested in befriending Caroline.
The House Swap is a solid, fairly slow-building domestic thriller. Each new chapter brings forth a twist or a reveal, and the book culminates in a major reveal that’s more sad than anything. Fleet does a good job of moving her plot forward, teasing us with a flash of insight only to later reveal that this is inaccurate. I really like how this story turned out — so often, we get thrillers where the big reveal leads to some high octane scenes that stretch credulity. In contrast, The House Swap‘s reveal is rather quiet, yet very emotionally resonant, and the book reveals itself as a moving character study along with being a thriller.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.