Category Archives: The Stranger in Our Home

Review: The Stranger in Our Home by Sophie Draper

Title: The Stranger in Our Home by Sophie Draper
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 297 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Have you been bad enough?

When her stepmother dies unexpectedly, Caro returns to her childhood home in the rural English countryside. She hadn’t seen Elizabeth in years, but the remote farmhouse offers refuge from a bad relationship, and a chance to start again.

But going through Elizabeth’s belongings unearths memories Caro would rather stay buried. In particular, the story her stepmother would tell her, about two little girls and the terrible thing they do.

As heavy snow traps Caro in the village, where her neighbours stare and whisper, Caro is forced to question why Elizabeth hated her so much, and what she was hiding. But does she really want to uncover the truth?

A haunting and twisty story about the lies we tell those closest to us, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Cass Green.


The Stranger in Our Home by Sophie Draper is an eerie mystery which incorporates creepy adult fairy tales and an evil stepmother into the storyline.

Illustrator Caro Crowther returns to her childhood home the English countryside following her stepmother’s death.  She is also reunited with her estranged sister Steph who is not interested in her part of their inheritance but would like to repair their relationship. Unfortunately, Steph works in New York so the women rely on skype and phone calls to get to know each other. Caro is isolated  at the family house and the townspeople are not thrilled with her return. Caro is hoping the estate goes through probate quickly because being back in her home is bringing back some very puzzling and frightening memories. Caro is becoming more and more uneasy living by herself and the shocking discoveries about the events of her childhood are increasing her anxiety. Can Caro trust the new memories that are surfacing? And what, if anything do these remembrances have to do with what is happing in the present?

Caro is a likable young woman who is rather timid and non-confrontational. Having recently escaped from an unhealthy relationship, returning to her childhood home will hopefully give her the opportunity to get back on her feet again. In the beginning, her current project helps keep her mind off her troubles. However once Caro begins to see parallels between the dark fairy tales and her own life, she is so rattled that she finds it difficult to focus. She is also dealing with some occurrences that are very unnerving. Caro is so shaken by the events that she begins to doubt her perception of the things that are happening to her.

As much as Caro would like to fix her relationship with her sister, Steph is not exactly someone she can rely on when things get rough. Caro is also a bit bewildered by some of Steph’s reactions to the events that are happening in her absence. Her cryptic responses are another source of frustration for Caro as she tries to understand what her newfound knowledge means.

The bright spot in Caro life is her surprising romance with neighbor Craig Atherton. Despite their intense attraction, Caro is a little uneasy about some aspects of their steamy romance.  However, she does not let her doubts ruin her chance at happiness. But when Craig is not exactly supportive after a traumatic discovery, can the fractures in their relationship be repaired?

The Stranger in Our Home is a slow burning mystery that is quite atmospheric. Caro is a sympathetic protagonist but her propensity to ignore problems is a little frustrating. The family house is a little shabby and its isolated location provides a sinister element to the unfolding story.  While the first two thirds of the novel are a little slow, the final third moves at a blistering pace. With unexpected twists and stunning turns, Sophie Draper brings this spellbinding mystery to an absolutely jaw-dropping conclusion that is also a little ambiguous.  A fantastic debut that I really enjoyed and highly recommend to fans of the genre.

As a side note, the book is titled Cuckoo in the UK.

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Filed under Avon, Contemporary, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Sophie Draper, Suspense, The Stranger in Our Home