The Housekeeper's Sonby Christopher Loke
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When 72-year-old housekeeper, Eleanor Ethel Rose, is found with a bloody knife in her hand beside the dead body of Katherine Cunningham, her employer's 12-year-old daughter, she quickly admits to the crime and surrenders herself, pleading guilty before her trial even begins. But to Victor Lee, a young and ambitious journalist who is assigned to cover the story, there is more to Eleanor's confession.
Through his interviews with Eleanor within the confines of the penitentiary's visiting hall, Victor pushes for the truth and finds himself drawn into her world where the line between right and wrong is blur-nothing is what it seems. What he discovers is a secret that, if revealed, will not only explain Katherine's death, it will also challenge the moral obligation of every mother to her child. It is a secret that started 42 years ago on the night Eleanor took the life of her only son.
The Housekeeper's Son is a novel that explores the power and vulnerability of a mother's love for her child.
- Jolly Fish Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)
- Age Range:
- 16 Years
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Meet the Author
Christopher received his MA in communications and journalism from Utah State University. As an author, Christopher is passionate about good storytelling. He is actively involved in local writing groups and projects. His journalistic works have been featured and discussed in college classrooms across the country. When he is not writing, he dissects social issues and plays with his 6-year-old son.
Christopher currently resides in a quiet neighborhood near a lake in Provo, Utah, with his beloved wife and a monster that is his son. The Housekeeper's Son is his debut novel.
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I couldn't have been more pleased with this novel. Recommended to me by a friend, I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover was awesome and the story sounded very intriguing, but you never know. After reading this book for less than an hour, I was hooked, and I read it all the way through in a couple days (it was a weekend). Let me tell you, this book is fantastic. A masterpiece, even. The emotions were basically dripping off the page, and I was thrown into the beautiful mind of the most lovable (and full of love) murderer in literature to date. This book addressed several controversial topics, including heavily religious small towns, murdering of children, homosexuality, and even Euthanasia. This, combined with a superb writing style, makes this book special (especially because of all of the good food in the book. The entire time my stomach was rumbling...). I would be surprised if this book doesn't become a bestseller and win a few awards along the way, and I would be disappointed if it wasn't made into a movie. It's not every day I find a book that I so thoroughly enjoy, so trust me--this book is awesome. Buy it!
Being a fan of mystery authors since childhood, I was thrilled to finally read this novel by Christopher Loke. Set in a quaint town in Utah, the townspeople are anything other than what they seem. A housekeeper comes to work for a family with a distorted and secretive past. The housekeeper's own secrets are uncovered by a lonely journalist as she wiggles her way into the hearts of the people around her and ultimately changes all their lives. The storyline is so moving and beautiful, yet action packed with twists and turns throughout. The characters are vivid, descriptive and so well developed that you feel as if you have been a part of their lives when you close the book. The themes touched within the story are controversial and juicy, but real issues that we face today. Ultimately, The Housekeeper's Son teaches us that none of us are all good or all bad, but that we are all human beings, capable of selfishness as well as love and sacrifice for one another. Like all good novels, it made me laugh out loud, cry, and shudder in horror all within a few pages. I want to read it again
This book opens with a recurring fantasy of mine. A matronly woman comes to the door wanting to cook and clean for the family. All she wants in return is a place to stay and a little petty cash. Not only is she willing and able, she’s fantastic at all things domestic, her attention to detail exquisite, her emotional radar attuned to the slightest nuance of every member of the family. The biggest drawback? She’s a murder, of course. But that was 42 years ago. Have you tasted her apple pie? Seriously, the whole murder thing seems so passé in comparison. Meet Eleanor Ethel Rose, a complex women of simple tastes and pleasures and epic doses of motherly love. In Christopher Loke’s debut novel, The Housekeeper’s Son, we meet Eleanor and slowly strip away the layers of her story, much like peeling an apple and removing the flesh to make a pie. Eventually you’re left with the once hidden core of motives and facts lying naked on the cutting board, revealing ideas and planting seeds that challenge the reader’s understanding of what it means to be a good mother—and son. There’s no O. Henryish gimmick in the twist; the whole apple is there from the beginning. The reveal is a matter of what’s not said as much as what is—but to tell more would only spoil it. If you like mysteries and thrillers, you’re sure to find it entertaining. Set in rural Utah, The Housekeeper’s Son, touches on but doesn’t fully explore some of the hot button issues in modern LDS culture/Mormonism today: homosexuality, child abuse, incest, neglect, depression, and, of course, murder. It’s an adult book with adult themes handled in oblique, non-graphic ways. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
The Housekeeper’s Son, a murder mystery by Christopher Loke, grips the reader’s interest from the first page before the story is methodically unfolded, keeping the audience wondering about the full truth until the bitter end. Loke’s brilliant flip-flopping between 1st and 3rd person, a practice many authors dare not attempt, is done with an aptitude only few can perform. Executing this method with precision, the story’s mystery is enhanced to its fullest. Although Loke chooses a stereotyped Mormon town for his backdrop, the issues brought up (incest, homosexuality, murder, deceit) are universal. Any reader can relate, in some way, to the controversies involved, for they have occurred in all other times, communities, countries, religions and races. A little more research could have been done, however, on LDS (Mormon) Church policies and doctrines, as some of them were misrepresented, like passing out flyers in church, which is simply not allowed. While the mystery is wrapped up with satisfaction, the reader is left with an eerie thought about his own surroundings. Does he really know his neighbor? Can he trust those he calls friend? Have forbidden secrets penetrated his own home and family? Is murder ever justified? It makes him ponder. How will The housekeeper’s Son with Loke’s cunning script affect your seemingly secure world.
Reviewed by Patricia Day for Readers Favorite "The Housekeeper's Son" by Christopher Loke is a compelling and, at times, complicated tale. Christopher Loke weaves quite a story involving Eleanor, hired as housekeeper, her son David, and the Cunningham family, Elizabeth, Katherine and Edmund. Add abuse, incest and murder, and you have the backdrop for "The Housekeeper’s Son". Eleanor is tired and disillusioned with life. Her only son died in tragic and controversial circumstances, leaving her completely alone in the world. She is old and her position is tenuous and strained within a household already brimming with emotional dysfunction. The following quotes will give you a glimpse into the story. “May I ask you a question?” Eleanor asked, a little hesitant. “Sure”, Katherine replied. “Where is your father?” “Why don’t you ask my mother?” “You see, dear, your mother doesn’t talk much. After all, I’m just a curious old woman”, - Eleanor took Katherine’s hand and gave it a light tap - “I do care about your family, and I’d do anything to help. Anything at all.” A smile was visible on Katherine’s face. “My father left us two years ago,” Katherine replied. She chased him away”. “Mom’s sick you know”. She takes lots of pills and sleeps a lot”. “She was jealous”. There are many stories within the main one and each manages to evoke strong emotions. At times I found the novel difficult to follow as the time frame switched back and forth – but not so much that it caused me to want to stop reading. The conclusion was not the one expected. People and life are rarely predictable but "The Housekeeper’s Son" is definitely not predictable as the writer unfurls one surprise after another. Eleanor was forced to make some major decisions, each one impacting not only her life but that of her son and the members of the Cunningham family and their community.
This is without a doubt the WORST book I have ever read. I kept waiting for it to make sense or to redeem itself. Never happened.