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The Housemaid

Questions, Ending & Explanations

See below for an explanation of the ending and other questions about The Housemaid by Freida McFadden. If you have other questions that aren't already covered here, feel free to drop a comment!

Where can I find a full plot summary for The Housemaid?

Right here! You can find a quick recap and a lengthier version of the summary over here.

What happens at the end of The Housemaid by Freida McFadden?

After Nina is kicked out of the house, we find out Nina purposely engineered this situation so that she could be free from Andrew.

Andrew locks Millie up in the attic room, but Millie finds some pepper spray in the attic room and attacks Andrew. She locks him in the room and tortures him, turning the table around on him. We then learn that Millie went to jail for accidentally killing and attempted rapist and has a few other violent incidents in her past. Nina knew about it all along. She not only wanted Millie to be a replacement, she was also hoping Millie would kill Andrew.

When he dies, Nina offers to take the blame for it, since it’s what she wanted all along, she just didn’t have it in her to kill him. When the police detective comes to question her it turns out his daughter was Andrew’s ex-fiance who was traumatized by him. The detective concludes the death was an accident. In the Epilogue, Millie interviews for a cleaning job but it becomes clear the woman really just wants Millie to kill her abusive husband. Millie takes the job.

Did Nina instruct Cecelia to be mean to Millie?

So, I don’t think there’s a black and white answer on this, it certainly is not explicitly said one way or another. My guess is no. It sounds like Cecelia was kind of a brat to begin with and because of her experiences she is distrustful of strangers, so I think she probably did all that on her own. Millie probably got off on the wrong foot with Cecelia by offering her peanut butter, since that’s the same way that Andrew threatens her.

I think you could also argue that Cecelia probably used her mother’s behavior as a guide on how to behave herself, so if her mother was treating Millie poorly, then she’d be inclined to do the same thing.

Do I need to read The Housemaid before reading The Housemaid’s Secret?

No, but it provides helpful context. Also, it’ll give away the ending somewhat to The Housemaid if you skip to the second book. I would pretty strongly recommend reading The Housemaid before reading The Housemaid’s Secret.

Have more questions? Leave them in a comment below!

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