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Literary Minute June 2023

 The Housemaid and The Housemaid’s Secret

By: Freida McFadden

 The Housemaid ISBN: 9781538742570

The Housemaid ASIN: ‎B09TWSRMCB

 The Housemaid’s Secret ISBN: 9780349132617

The Housemaid’s Secret ASIN: B0BGXYL3BZ

Over the Housemaid Book Coverpast year, I have become a fan of books by Freida McFadden. Each book seems to have a great twist and I am kept on my toes a lot. This review is going to cover two of her books that should be read back-to-back.

In the spring of 2022, The Housemaid came out. I first listened to it last fall and enjoyed it. It’s one of those books where you hope a movie comes out of it. We all know maids see all and know all! When I saw there was a sequel, The Housemaid’s Secret, I went back and listened to the first book again, so I could get a refresh on the characters.

In this story, we meet Millie, who has a criminal past, who manages to get a job as a live-in maid for the wealthy Nina Winchester. Nina gives her a room in the attic, which only locks from the outside. That’s disturbing, so Millie asks for a key, which she gets, along with a new phone. We also meet Enzo, the Winchester’s landscaper, who warns her of danger, and then Nina’s husband Andrew and their child Cecelia.

In typical maid fashion, Millie spends her time cleaning, taking care of dinner and putting up with the many mood swings of Nina, which she finds out from school gossip, is on antipsychotic medication. Nina likes to gaslight Millie. So much so, I felt like I was getting gaslight.

The second half of the book goes to a flashback of Nina’s perspective. Pregnant, Nina met Andrew, a CEO, at her job. He’s handsome and charming, just like he is throughout the first part of the book. They marry, but she soon learns things are not as they seem.

Without giving too much away, Nina is able to confide in Enzo, who promises to help her. Here’s where Nina decides to find someone to replace her…someone that her husband will become attracted too. That’s where Millie comes in. Millie is hired not only because of her beauty, but because of why she spent time in prison. The table starts to turn and without any spoilers, I think the book concluded very well and I’m glad that a second book came out.

Here’s where we go into The Housemaid’s Secret, which came out in February. Picking up a few years later, we find Millie putting herself through college to become a sociaThe Housemaids Secret Book Cover.jpgl worker and doing what she does best, house cleaning for the wealthy. She also has a boyfriend, a wealthy attorney! She seems to be doing well and also has developed a bit of a reputation due to the events while working for the Winchester’s and from what has happened over the last few years.

Alas, Millie loses her job, because the child she cared for, started calling her mommy, which of course, angers the rich mother she is working for. Millie gets a call to come work for the extremely wealthy family of Douglas and Wendy Garrick. According to Douglas, Wendy is sick and spends her time in her bedroom, behind closed doors, and must never be bothered.

Millie feels as if something isn’t right, as do I. She hears Wendy crying and one day sees inside and is able to talk to her. She vows to take care of Wendy and get her out of the situation she is in, but not everything is as it seems.

Just like The Housemaid, the book shifts to Wendy’s perspective. Totally different of what we think is happening and tons of well written twists and turns. Other characters are introduced, which we think may be just minor players, but become vital to the story. At one point, we think Millie’s life is ruined, but someone from her past reappears and promises to help her.

The ending was insane and a great sequel. I truly enjoyed this and finished the book quickly because I was hooked. I highly recommend both books.

The Housemaid is 336 pictures or 9 hours and 46 minutes.

The Housemaid’s Secret is 314 pages or 9 hours and 44 minutes.