Review of ‘The House Swap’ by Rebecca Fleet

This is a very emotionally intense novel. It’s packaged as a psychological thriller but it’s more like a dissection of a failing marriage.

The story is narrated by Caroline and Francis, a couple with a lot of issues and some secrets. They do a ‘house swap’ with a random person from the internet as a substitute for a holiday. Yet the house they are staying in for a week has some odd coincidences about it and there is an intensely curious neighbour to deal with. It sounds just about credible. The chapters range across a timespan of a few years, alternating with a third narrative voice, whose identity is not revealed until later on. Although the plot is fairly simple, the characters’ relationships are complex. I think having only a few characters, explored in depth, is effective. They weren’t very likeable but you could understand their motives, even if their expressions and behaviour were a little over-dramatic. The sense of place, other than the house that Caroline and Francis were staying at, was minimal. I would have preferred more descriptions of the places and fewer intimate details of Caroline’s affair.

I didn’t particularly enjoy the book, partly because it wasn’t what I expected – I thought it would be more of a thriller. However, the way that the author presents the tension between the characters is very impressive. The ending, while shocking, didn’t feel right to me.

Considering that it’s a debut novel, this book is not a bad read. If, like me, you find it for 50p in a charity shop, then go ahead.

First published in 2018.

8 thoughts on “Review of ‘The House Swap’ by Rebecca Fleet”

  1. Hmmm ok the cover does give that ‘thriller’ sort of feel…Maybe the author just couldnt decide on its genre, or the story headed somewhere else while writing it. Oh wel,l not too bad for 50p 🙂 Love your review and your 50p comment! HAha

    1. I’m sure that some readers will enjoy it, but the blurb and the ‘look’ of this one didn’t match the content.

  2. Interesting that the author chose such a long timespan as usually thrillers nowadays focus on a few weeks or even days. It also definitely looks like a thriller so I can understand the confusion and your disappointment! Great review 🙂

    1. Possibly it would feel like a thriller to another reader, but not to me. I don’t regret reading it though. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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