Synopsis: Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life. The request seems odd, even intrusive—and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant—and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space—and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
Me: I didn’t dislike this but after reading some reviews I expected a lot more. For me the intensity wasn’t there. I did like the premise. Jane moves into One Folgate Street and follows the exact same patterns as a previous tenant including relationships with the same people. There should be suspense but for me the flip flopping each paragraph between women made it hard for me to connect with either of them. I think I would’ve liked a bit more time on each character before swapping over in paragraphs
I also found the minimalist rules hard to swallow. Conditions of being able to rent mean these women have to give up all their possessions and follow a series of rules set out by the creepy architect of the house who may or may not have killed his wife and buried her under the patio. I understand the need for a fresh start but how about a bit of de-cluttering instead??
The language is sparse, designed to suit the house and minimalist ideas giving you a quick read. I do actually like the design of the house as I could picture it with everything having it’s place but I’m not signing a lease that bars me from cushions to keep the aesthetic.
The books tries to lead you into a typical misdirect with who the real bad guy was but again not enough suspense for me to truly believe and so I wasn’t surprised when I was proved right in the actual bad guy.
I think there could be a good story in there somewhere but maybe less minimalism and a few more words.