Your search keywords:

‘The Housemaid’s Secret’ book review: Better than the first book

‘The Housemaid’s Secret’ book review: Better than the first book

‘The Housemaid’s Secret’ is the sequel to ‘The Housemaid’ and this is perhaps one of those rare times when the second book is better than the first. It’s much more engaging than the first, and that’s saying a lot because The Housemaid was a tense thriller.

In Housemaid, we met Millie as she was desperately searching for a job. Then Nina Winchester hires her to help clean her beautiful home. The messes keep piling up, Nina accuses her of stealing her clothes, and Nina’s daughter hates her. The only respite comes in the form of Andrew, Nina’s husband, who seems to understand Millie and the two soon develop feelings for each other. But things aren’t as they seem and everything quickly goes downhill for Millie.

The Housemaid’s Secret doesn’t begin where the first book left off. Quite a few things have happened in Millie’s life since then. Millie is now working as a nanny and has a wonderful, caring boyfriend called Brock. Then she gets fired from the job when the baby calls her ‘mama’ instead of her real mother. Brock asks her to move in with him but, as lovely as he is, she just can’t bring herself to take that next step in their relationship.

So, she needs another job immediately. She has to pay rent for her decrepit room. But she is unable to find one. Then Douglas Garrick, CEO of Coinstock, contacts Millie. He says he and his wife require Millie to cook and clean their house twice or thrice a week. Douglas tells Millie that his wife Wendy is sick and not to disturb her. It seems like an innocent request and Millie agrees.

But soon Millie starts to hear cries from the bedroom. She finds a nightdress with blood along the neckline when doing the laundry. She sees Wendy with bruises on her face. Millie realizes Douglas is an abusive husband and wants to help Wendy escape but Wendy is far too scared of Douglas to let Millie help her. But Millie doesn’t give up and manages to help Wendy. What happens after that is for the readers to find out. Saying anything more would spoil the fun of reading it.

What I can say is that McFadden’s writing and craft have gotten better with each book. The Housemaid’s Secret kept me riveted. I was constantly second-guessing every action and I got quite a few things right. I could see where the story was headed yet I wasn’t prepared for many of the twists in the book.

There is a lot of tension and a fair bit of drama in the book. The story picks up in the second half and I didn’t want to put it down. You could read The Housemaid and then read the second book in the series if you want to know Millie’s backstory but it isn’t necessary. The Housemaid’s Secret works well as a standalone novel. With short chapters and crazy situations, the book will keep you entertained.


The Housemaid’s Secret

Freida McFadden

Published: 2023

Publisher: Penguin Books

Pages: 365, Paperback