In My House

Alex Hourston

This unsettling debut novel tells the story of an unlikely friendship between two very different women, for readers of THE WOMAN UPSTAIRS and NOTES ON A SCANDAL.

Date Published
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In the queue for the toilets at Gatwick, a teenage girl catches 57-year-old Margaret Benson’s eye in the mirror and mouths the world help. Margaret’s reaction leads to the dramatic rescue of the teenager from her trafficker and Margaret becomes a hero.

But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive. Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but she also quickly inserts herself into Margaret’s lonely life. As their friendship develops, so do questions: who is Margaret hiding from, and what are Anja’s true motives? And what is the cost of living a lie?

Critic Reviews

This stunningly accomplished first novel whips along like a thriller, and presents the reader with one more dilemma after another ... A must for the intelligent book group.

Kate Saunders, The Times
Critic Reviews

Involving and original ... Hourston resolutely avoids the predictable, skilfully throwing the reader off-balance and creating a compelling sense of unease that shimmers unsettlingly beneath the ordinary lives she explores ... a strikingly promising debut. Caustically perceptive, wryly funny, occasionally devastatingly tender, Maggie Benson is a terrific protagonist; like all the most satisfactory characters in fiction, she is both infuriatingly contradictory and entirely plausible.

Critic Reviews

A slow burner that delivers in a most satisfying way.

Fanny Blake, Woman & Home
Critic Reviews

What would you do if you were in a toilet queue at Gatwick and someone mouthed the word, 'help'? So starts Hourston's intriguing debut novel before grabbing your hand and running headlong to its unsettling finale.

Critic Reviews

The most original, well-observed and well-sustained first novel I've read in a long time. Alex Hourston has a really cool, unnerving way with words. It's crammed full of small, terrifyingly honest details which you feel ought to be in novels but rarely are. I loved it!

Julie Myerson
Critic Reviews

'Unsettling ... with a very persuasive thread of menace.'


After fifteen years writing strategy for advertising agencies, Alex Hourston took a break to go back to university and her first love, books. In My House was published by Faber in 2015. Alex lives outside Brighton with her family. This is her second novel., After fifteen years writing strategy for advertising agencies, Alex Hourston took a break to go back…

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