Book Review / Wendy Corsi Staub

Wendy Corsi Staub | The Other Family

The Book: 

The Other Family by Wendy Corsi Staub
Published February 8, 2022 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Date read: October 5, 2023

The Characters: 

Nora and Keith and their daughters Stacy and Piper

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Buy it on | Amazon

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The Plot (from Goodreads):

The watcher sees who you are…and knows what you did.

It’s the perfect home for the perfect family: pretty Nora Howell, her handsome husband, their two teenage daughters, and lovable dog. As California transplants making a fresh start in Brooklyn, they expected to live in a shoebox, but the brownstone has a huge kitchen, lots of light, and a backyard. The catch: its previous residents were victims of a grisly triple homicide that remains unsolved.

Soon, peculiar things begin happening. The pug is nosing around like a bloodhound. Nora unearths a long-hidden rusty box in the flowerbed. Oldest daughter Stacey, obsessed with the family murdered in their house, pokes into the bloody past and becomes convinced that a stranger is watching the house. Watching them.

She’s right. But one of the Howells will recognize his face. Because one of them has a secret that will blindside the others with a truth that lies shockingly close to home–and to this one’s terrifying history.

How did The Other Family end?

Click here for book spoilers for The Other Family
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read The Other Family, I suggest you turn back now.

The Reveal:

Nora was Annie, the “dead” girl that lived in the house before this family. Her stepfather had been in a gang (or the mafia?) and a hit was ordered on the whole family. Jacob was the son of the man ordering the hit–he was tasked with getting close to Annie to see if he could learn anything about the family through her. Jacob’s father ordered him to kill Annie and her family, but Jacob had fallen in love with her. When he went to warn Annie, though, the family was already dead.

Annie’s mother was crazy and trying to kill her. The man was her stepfather whom she hated. Annie’s best friend Ellie had OD’d and died in Annie’s bed, so Annie impulsively shot her too to fake her death. Annie’s father and stepmother hid her and helped her become Nora.

Teddy was the stepmother, not an affair as Keith suspected.

Lennon was harmless, just creepy. I don’t think there was any resolution about why Jules was so weird to Nora.

The Ending:

Jacob eventually stole Lennon’s phone to lure Stacy to the park (thinking she was Annie reincarnated). Nora realized it was Jacob and killed him, then dropped the gun in a river. Jacob wasn’t a bad guy but would’ve exposed her secrets.

The Review: 

The Other Family was part of my lineup for the #backlistbooks23 challenge. Fall was the perfect time to read this one! The Howell family has just moved into a creepy new house in New York–one they’re renting for a steal since it has sat empty for 25 years. Little do they know that terrible things have happened in this house. Their neighbors are a little too interested in the family, and it quickly turns into a claustrophobic story of stalkers and family secrets.

It was an interesting read. I was looking forward to figuring out Jacob’s connection. I enjoyed the various POVs and how the secrets were unveiled. I can’t say I was shocked by the reveal, but I did find the journey to get there enjoyable. If you’re looking for a fall thriller, this is a good one to add to your list.

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