Book Review│The Woman in Our House by Andrew Hart

inourhouseAs a new mom, the topic of this book really struck a chord with me. The basic premise is that a mother wants to return to her publishing job after having her second child. So, her husband and she hire a nanny to care for her children so she could work from home. What I was not prepared for as a new mom was how protective you become of your baby. My thoughts of someone else watching my son or worse, my son being put into daycare quickly vanished the moment my husband put him into my arms. My son would be raised at home with one of us home to raise him and thankfully, we have been able to maintain opposite work and school schedules to make sure that we are the ones parenting and making sure our son has a secure and loving home to be in where we would know exactly what was going on and who are son was around. It really was the only way I was going back to work. However, for the plot of this novel, Anna Klein was not as lucky as I was and she needed to seek outside help in order to go back to work.

The Loving Nanny

Anna and her husband Josh turn to a nanny agency to help them find the perfect fit for their family. Through the agency, they hire Oaklynn Durst who has outstanding references and seems like the perfect fit for their family. She is overly maternal, kind, goes above and beyond for their family and the kids adore her. However, soon after Oaklynn moves in the kids start to endure odd illnesses and unexplained injuries. Anna immediately becomes suspicious of Oaklynn, but her husband, Josh and their friends are quick to remind her that it’s probably all in her head and she’s worrying too much. Everyone will learn too quickly how right a mother’s instinct can be and how she shouldn’t be so easily dismissed, even if you want to push off her concerns over being newly post-partum.

Post-Partum Paranoia

As Anna and Oaklynn’s relationship further deteriorates as one child has her arm broken and the other is rushed to the hospital with high fevers and bloody diapers, Anna is forced to face what she believes: that Oaklynn is hurting her kids. However, with her daughter Grace, still in infancy, there is the pervading theme of post-partum paranoia and anxiety that may also be making her take her suspicions of Oaklynn farther than she should. What makes this novel so good is how Anna’s suspicions become so clouded in her postpartum anxiety and paranoia which makes you question her mental integrity throughout the first half of the novel. All will be revealed, however, and will come to a shocking and twisty ending that will leave you recovering for at least a couple days after you finish, The Woman in Our House.

About the Author

Andrew Hart is a pen name for New York Times best-selling author, A.J. Hartley. Currently, he is the Robinson Professor of Shakespeare Studies at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and has penned over twenty novels that span a variety of topics from romance to suspense and young adult.

Book Information

The Woman in Our House by Andrew Hart is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2019, from Lake Union Publishing with ISBN 9781542092777. This review corresponds to an advanced electric galley that was supplied by the publisher in exchange for this review. To be linked to special pre-order pricing, click the link above!

The Hart Home│Are you fearful of another pregnancy?

My husband and I do not hide the fact that if God allows it, we would like to have four kids. I would like two of each because I think the idea of everyone having a brother and a sister. However, I really don’t care either way as long as I get one of each in this mix.

I was very blessed to conceive our son easily. I had been convinced that it would take us a while and that I would probably have fertility issues. After we visited our doctor, we were told to go home and try for a year before they intervened. I immediately hit the books and from there ordered my pre-natal vitamins and ovulation kits and downloaded a log to keep track of my cycles. I was determined. I also followed every forum and app on TTC I could find and read daily how and when in cycles women were actually conceiving.

meandlogan
One of our first pictures together. August 2018.

I was a bit obsessed, but deep within myself, I had always wanted to be a mother. However, I have also always been very career and academically driven and for years that was my sole focus. I laugh at myself now for thinking that I would go back to work a month after having delivered our son. I also laugh at a conversation that I had with my husband when we first started dating. I flat out told him that I would never give up my career or my dreams for any man nor would I move for one. Which is funny because, in the end, I moved for my husband so that he could finish school and now, I am constantly applying to jobs that I can do closer to home or even remotely so that I can be home with our son. My husband constantly likes to remind me about that conversation and how it’s so funny that this little man entered my life and I am just wrapped around his finger. And it’s true, Logan is the boss of my life now and if it doesn’t benefit him, I don’t do it. Everyone was floored when I took an actual spring break this year and have planned to do the same for summer. I haven’t actually had a true summer since I graduated from Rutgers. I can’t count my first summer with Phil because while backpacking through Europe was definitely a summer, it too was a lot of work. This will be the first summer where I will have no work, no deadlines just an endless amount of time with my baby.

Which has led us to the serious questions of when we want to expand our family again. Since we did not start our family when I was in my 20’s, I know that I do not have much time to finish building our family either. I think by 36, you’re already considered geriatric when it comes to pregnancy. It made me realize how scared I was to get pregnant again. With Logan, my pregnancy was uncomplicated other than being sick every day with him and in the end, I only gained 10 pounds and after deilvery, I wound up losing almost 50 within the first months of being home. My delivery was complicated. I was 42 weeks pregnant and induced for two days. We developed an infection on the morning of the 3rd day and I was rushed in for an emergency c-section where I got to meet the most perfect little boy.

We had 3 days together in the hospital and just as they were about to discharge me, my blood pressure shot through the roof and I was diagnosed with postpartum pre-eclampsia which affects 1 in 600 pregnancies. I had never even heard of that. I spent the next day being infused with magnesium sulfite and dealing with the craziest bunch of nurses I had ever dealt with. They had me on hefty drugs for the c-section, but when I developed a headache from lack of sleep, the magnesium and I am sure the overall stress, I had a nurse get into a fight with me over it. It was just such a whacky experience and we had driven 45 minutes to deliver at that hospital because in New Jersey it is known as THE baby hospital. I was so unimpressed. And the real kicker, the epidural? Didn’t even work! I felt it ALL.

I have been scared of and distant from my husband for months because I was terrified of going through all of that again. It’s taken me a while to even think that at some point I would like to have another baby to grow our family. I think this time though, I would find a midwife that specializes in VBAC and home birth because I never want to go through a c-section again nor do I want to deal with that hospital or any hospital for that matter unless I absolutely have to. I think all of the medical interventions that I believed in for my first pregnancy contributed to my difficult delivery and if God does bless us with another (or three more children), I definitely will not be repeating my first birth experience.