The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet


Caroline and her husband, Francis, have agreed to a house swap, staying in someone else’s home for a week, while that person stays at their place. Their marriage, once rife with problems, is still on somewhat fragile ground, and they need this time together, a chance to reconnect. Caroline is alarmed when she starts noticing sinister reminders of a painful time in her life, and becomes convinced that the person they’ve swapped houses with is someone she knows—someone she’s been trying very hard to forget.

What I Liked

The premise of this story appealed to me a great deal. Swapping houses with a stranger you’ve never even met? If that’s not a recipe for (potential) disaster, I don’t know what it is—and I wanted to know how it would take the inevitable bad turn.

The story is told in three parts: Home (before the house swap), Away (during the house swap), and—intermittently—small passages written from the perspective of the person they swapped houses with, taking place during their stay in Caroline’s home. Much of the story if from Caroline’s perspective, but portions are dedicated to Francis’ point-of-view (before the house swap), as well. I like that it was structured in this way, because it gives a well-rounded view of everything that is going on. This resulted in the story being a slow burn, but it worked well most of the time.

There were some surprises for me along the way, concerning how certain events and characters were connected. I love little surprises like that, and the definitely keep me reading when it happens.

What I Didn’t Like

Francis is shown to have a pill addiction (before the swap), and it’s mentioned that it had been an issue in the past, as well. What bothered me, somewhat, is that I never understood why he started taking pills in the first place. What happened that made him do it? It’s not essential to the storyline to know this, but the lack of motive behind his addiction made it feel unrealistic and I had a hard time feeling any sort of empathy for Francis’ drug problem.

The ending wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be, so I was mildly disappointed with it. The ending it had worked, don’t get me wrong—I was just hoping for something a bit more explosive.

Final Thoughts

Fleet’s debut novel  features a unique concept that I enjoyed reading, and is well written throughout. The resolution of the story wasn’t quite my cup of tea, but the events that took place made sense and left no loose ends. I’ll definitely be watching for Fleet’s next novel—I’m curious to see what she comes up with next!

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Pamela Dorman Books via Edelweiss.

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Author: Rebecca Fleet
Title: The House Swap
Genre: Suspense
Publication Date: May 22, 2018 by Pamela Dorman Books
Rating: 3 stars

About the Book

‘No one lives this way unless they want to hide something.’

When Caroline and Francis receive an offer to house swap, they jump at the chance for a week away from home. After the difficulties of the past few years, they’ve worked hard to rebuild their marriage for their son’s sake; now they want to reconnect as a couple.

On arrival, they find a house that is stark and sinister in its emptiness – it’s hard to imagine what kind of person lives here. Then, gradually, Caroline begins to uncover some signs of life – signs of her life. The flowers in the bathroom or the music in the CD player might seem innocent to her husband but to her they are anything but. It seems the person they have swapped with is someone she used to know; someone she’s desperate to leave in her past.

But that person is now in her home – and they want to make sure she’ll never forget them . . .

About the Author

REBECCA FLEET was educated at Oxford and works in marketing. She lives in London. This is her suspense debut.

5 thoughts on “The House Swap by Rebecca Fleet

    • Whew! Glad to know I’m not alone in that. Seems like, for me, it’s always little things like this that will take something away from an otherwise good story. I want to know why characters do what they do!

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  1. I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this book Betty. I really liked your thoughts and agree, it is the little things that make the story go from Okay to Good or Good to Great. I also have ideas as I am reading about an ending and am sometimes disappointed with the direction the author went but as long as they tie up all the loose ends and it works, I get over it. Great review.

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    • Thanks, Carla! Those little things really add up in the end. (And make the review a struggle to write!) It’s especially tough when you enjoy it overall, but still feel dissatisfied with the ending, etc. These are the type of books I don’t want to discourage others from reading, and yet… if I leave out mentioning things I didn’t like, I feel like I’m not sharing my true impressions of a book.

      Sorry for the ramble. LOL Clearly, this wasn’t an easy review for me! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand completely. I struggle when I do not like the book but it is well written and others will probably enjoy it. I try to be fair as do most reviewers I follow.

        Liked by 1 person

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