Underbrush Book Club (One Time Purchase)

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We’re coming up on vacation season, and boy, do we have a beach read for you. Our May book pick, The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegal, is part thriller, part family drama, and an all-around un-put-downable read.

The novel follows multiple perspectives - mothers, au pairs, professors, and children - each connected in some way to the death of a young boy. As tensions rise and secrets emerge, the reader is left to pick up the pieces and fit them together again. Along with delicious elements of mystery and suspense, The Caretakers digs into the heart of motherhood, identity, and class dynamics.

Bestor-Siegal masterfully weaves the story together in a way that will keep you guessing until the end. As a suspense novel with speculative elements, there really is something in The Caretakers for every reader to enjoy.

This book took me completely by surprise as it wormed its way into my heart. An absolutely stunning portrayal of motherhood, wealth, and pretense told through the interconnected stories of the women in a small French neighborhood.

*Pssst* This month's pick and our very own bookseller review made it on American Booksellers Association's Indie Next List, a curated list of the best new releases recommended by booksellers across the US.

Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her young charge. The grieving mother believes the caretaker is to blame, and the neighborhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault—the enigmatic, young foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.  

The truth lies with six women: Géraldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family’s household.

Set during the weeks leading up to the event, The Caretakers is a poignant and suspenseful drama featuring complicated women. It’s a sensitive exploration of the weight of secrets, the pressures of country, community, and family—and miscommunications and misunderstandings that can have fatal consequences.

  • May book pick
  • Book club questions
  • Access to our monthly Zoom meeting
  • Underbrush tote-bag (First time members only)

Boxes will begin shipping on 5/4. The meeting will take place remotely on Tuesday, June 14th at 7:30 CST.

You can choose to make your Underbrush membership a recurring subscription here and receive free shipping on each box here. Subscriptions will be renewed on the 1st of each month. You will have the option to skip a month without being charged.