The House of Brides by Jane Cockram. (2019).
**2.5 out of 5 stars**
Miranda has been having a rough time; her successful career as a social media influencer has crashed after the controversial flop of her fertility app. Humiliated, she has moved home and misses her mother Tessa who died years ago. Tessa wrote a bestselling book (The House of Brides) that chronicled the generations of brides in her family, each more notorious and tragic than the last. Miranda doesn’t know that side of the family so when a mysterious letter arrives from a young cousin asking for help, Miranda acts. She poses as a live-in nanny but nothing is what it seems. The luxury hotel and world-renowned restaurant created by the most recent bride, Daphne, is gone. Soon Daphne is also gone. One of the children is in a wheelchair after a mysterious accident and the sinister housekeeper Mrs Mins has a dark influence over the master of the house…
I’m a bit disappointed really because I went into this book thinking I’d really enjoy it but unfortunately it didn’t go that way; perhaps my expectations were too high. I think one of the biggest issues is that Miranda just doesn’t feel a real person; she is in her mid twenties yet seems to have the attitude and mind of a 16 year old, she is totally impulsive and makes decisions that don’t really make sense, she herself admits she is a liar but then she also does things like stealing and tries to justify why when really there is no justification. The other issue I had was that sometimes the chapters felt like they were cut off too soon, like literally in the middle of a conversation and then the same conversation would resume at the beginning of the next chapter – that was a bit strange. I did like the use of having letters, newsletters and diary entries etc make up some of the formatting, but I did struggle to read some of the cursive ‘handwritten’ sections haha. I was interested enough in what the outcome of the story was but the big reveals just didn’t really feel quite satisfying to me.
There are heaps of people out there that have really enjoyed this book so check it out if the synopsis sounds interesting to you.