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The Safe Place
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The Safe Place

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21440105,105 (3.53)2
"Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downes' debut The Safe Place is the perfect summer suspense; a deft examination of the lengths we'll go to protect the facade of a perfect life. Emily Proudman's life is in chaos. She's just lost her acting agent and her job in one miserable day. Scott Denny has a problem. Even though he's a successful CEO, neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can come close to fixing it. He's at a breaking point. Until he meets Emily. Emily is friendly and agreeable. Emily is desperate. Emily is perfect. Scott offers Emily what seems the perfect summer job as a housekeeper and nanny on his remote French estate. Emily is quickly enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and even his strange young daughter, and falls headlong into this apparent paradise. But before long, Emily realizes that Scott and his wife are hiding dangerous secrets. And if Emily doesn't play along, the beautiful place they call home might turn out to be a prison from which none of them will ever escape. A compelling collision of Lisa Jewell's morally complex family dynamics and Ruth Ware's modern gothic vibes, The Safe Place is a deliciously sinister suspense novel that will also have you longing for wine-soaked summer days in a French villa by the sea"--… (més)
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The Safe Place de Anna Downes (Author)

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Es mostren 1-5 de 40 (següent | mostra-les totes)
In exchange for an honest review, I received an advance copy from NetGalley. Ok this is the exact kind of book I like. Suspenseful, quick read. Emily is a bit flighty and nothing seems to be working in her life. Her boss, Scott, offers her a job as a dogs’ body in the South of France for Nina, Scott’s wife and daughter Aurelia. I read this book during the quarantine and it took me to the South of France which was delightful. READ THIS BOOK ( )
  Sunandsand | Apr 30, 2022 |
Debut novelist Anne Downes is a native of Sheffield, England, and studied drama at the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Her London acting career included the long-running stage production of The Dresser in the West End. In 2009, she decided to travel and ended up working as a live-in housekeeper and caretaker for a wealthy family at their remote French estate. It was a fortuitous assignment because it provided the inspiration for The Safe Place. Downes says the experience was "eye-opening" for a number of reasons that she explores in her first novel.

Emily Proudman is down on her luck and her last attempt to extract money from her parents is unsuccessful. She has borrowed money from them in the past, and broken promises and forgotten milestones. Her relationship with her adopted parents is complicated, largely due to Emily's internal struggle to understand who she is, where she belongs, and what her purpose in the world is meant to be. With no options left, she accepts Scott's surprising offer, agreeing to live in the remote French countryside with Nina, and their troubled young daughter. When Emily arrives, she finds that there are two homes on the estate called Querencia, and she will be living in the guest house, but must maintain professional boundaries that include not entering the family home.

Emily immediately notices that there is something distinctly odd about Nina, who explains that Aurelia can never be exposed to direct sunlight, and is clothed head to foot at all times and wears hats with large brims to protect her skin. Aurelia does not want to be touched and sometimes acts out, screaming hysterically, which shocks and frightens Emily. Nina regularly gives Aurelia medication. But Emily is determined to get acquainted with and gain the trust of the little girl.

Downes credibly relates how Emily settles into her new role, developing an affectionate friendship with Nina and becoming attached to Aurelia, as well as her new lifestyle in the countryside. The weeks pass quickly and Emily grows close and protective of Nina and Aurelia, even as she is mystified by the ailments Nina claims plague Aurelia and the child's strange behavior.

The Safe Place is atmospheric and Downes deftly evokes the feeling of warm summer days spent caring for the animals and renovating the main house before enjoying a rejuvenating dinner on the patio and swim in the glistening pool. Despite her poor judgment and irresponsibility, Emily grows more empathetic as the story proceeds and Downes reveals details about her childhood. She explains how Emily came to be utterly lost, making her attachment to Nina and Aurelia believable, and her desire to be rescued by Scott compelling.

Throughout the book, Downes injects portions of a first-person narrative describing events that appear to have occurred before Emily took up residence with the family. The narrator's identity remains a mystery as the story progresses and Emily's instincts lead her to seek answers about Scott and his family. Downes expertly accelerates the story's pace as Emily inches closer to the truth, ramping up the dramatic tension and inspiring readers to cheer for Emily when she realizes that her discoveries have placed her in grave danger. Downs says her own time on a remote French estate revealed that "anything could happen and nobody would know it." She employs the isolation of Quarencia to great dramatic effect -- Emily is cut off from everyone she has ever known and must save herself.

Ultimately, The Safe Place is a story about a young woman who reconciles herself to her past and learns that it does not have to define her. Her experiences at Querencia place her in an ethical quandry, her life hanging in the balance if she makes the wrong choice. Downes provides a satisfying and credible conclusion to a story about a young woman who learns about empowerment and independence, and learns just how resilient, brave, and loved she really is. Ironically, she comes to understand that Scott hired her because "he'd seen her heart." As the story concludes, Emily is confident that her heart is good and she knows where her safe place is.

The Safe Place is a noteworthy debut and readers will find themselves anxious to read more from Downes.

Thanks to NetGalley for an Advance Reader's Copy of the book. ( )
  JHSColloquium | Apr 12, 2022 |
When you hit the bottom, how can you say no to an offer like this?

You don't. That's all there is to it. Fired from her job, without money to survive, and now facing eviction, Emily has hit bottom. But Scott, her ex-boss, offers her the job of a lifetime - assist his wife at their grand French estate. Access to a car, housing, and all the cash in the world. Where's the catch, right?

From the very beginning, the author relays that something is off about the entire thing. Her writing is easy to read and enjoyable, written from the POV of Emily and of Scott, with snippits from the wife thrown in once in awhile. The story, however, wasn't nearly as thrilling or exciting as I was looking for. It left much to be desired in the way of a good thriller.

If you're someone who isn't into sick and twisted books, but enjoys a little thrill once in a while, then this is perfect for you!

Thank you Netgalley and Minotaur books for allowing me to read this and give my honest opinion. ( )
  Jynell | Feb 24, 2022 |
When you hit the bottom, how can you say no to an offer like this?

You don't. That's all there is to it. Fired from her job, without money to survive, and now facing eviction, Emily has hit bottom. But Scott, her ex-boss, offers her the job of a lifetime - assist his wife at their grand French estate. Access to a car, housing, and all the cash in the world. Where's the catch, right?

From the very beginning, the author relays that something is off about the entire thing. Her writing is easy to read and enjoyable, written from the POV of Emily and of Scott, with snippits from the wife thrown in once in awhile. The story, however, wasn't nearly as thrilling or exciting as I was looking for. It left much to be desired in the way of a good thriller.

If you're someone who isn't into sick and twisted books, but enjoys a little thrill once in a while, then this is perfect for you!

Thank you Netgalley and Minotaur books for allowing me to read this and give my honest opinion.
( )
  Jynell | Feb 24, 2022 |
A very enjoyable and formulaic beach read. I devoured this fairly quickly but suspect I will forget it rapidly as well.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for review. ( )
  fionaanne | Nov 11, 2021 |
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Downes, AnnaAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Downes, AnnaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Vries, Willemijn deNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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"Superbly tense and oozing with atmosphere, Anna Downes' debut The Safe Place is the perfect summer suspense; a deft examination of the lengths we'll go to protect the facade of a perfect life. Emily Proudman's life is in chaos. She's just lost her acting agent and her job in one miserable day. Scott Denny has a problem. Even though he's a successful CEO, neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can come close to fixing it. He's at a breaking point. Until he meets Emily. Emily is friendly and agreeable. Emily is desperate. Emily is perfect. Scott offers Emily what seems the perfect summer job as a housekeeper and nanny on his remote French estate. Emily is quickly enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and even his strange young daughter, and falls headlong into this apparent paradise. But before long, Emily realizes that Scott and his wife are hiding dangerous secrets. And if Emily doesn't play along, the beautiful place they call home might turn out to be a prison from which none of them will ever escape. A compelling collision of Lisa Jewell's morally complex family dynamics and Ruth Ware's modern gothic vibes, The Safe Place is a deliciously sinister suspense novel that will also have you longing for wine-soaked summer days in a French villa by the sea"--

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