Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs, by Rachel Hawkins, is one of those intense thrillers where you think you’ve got it all figures out only to realize the storyline is so much more twisted than you imagined.

Jane is new to the Birmingham, Alabama area and is scraping by to make a living. She’s rooming with an ultra-creepy guy named John, and walking dogs in the very posh Thornfield Estates to earn a few extra bucks.

Her luck changes though when she meets the recently widowed Eddie Rochester. His wife Bea, and her best friend Blanche, died while boating during a girl’s getaway—both of their bodies lost to the lake. Eddie is handsome, attentive, and rich, having inherited his wife’s multi-million-dollar company Southern Manors. Jane’s secret past (a life of abusive & dangerous foster homes) has given her the ability to adapt fluidly to almost any situation. And the situation she finds herself in now—the chance to snag a rich husband and comfortable life—is almost too easy. Before long Jane is living in Eddie’s house and has assimilated into the community. But sometimes the past refuses to stay buried.

The Wife Upstairs is a twisted modern Jane Eyre that will leave your mind reeling at the possibilities—right down to the end. There are so many twists and turns from why Bea and Blanche ended up at that lake, to what was happening between them before that, and who might have been there with them, and what really happened to them. There are some things I wished had been fleshed out with a little more detail (Jane’s past, Blanche’s specific issues with Bea & her company, the problems between Bea and her mother) and there were a few point of view changes that I found jarring (a couple times near the end it switched from the predominant 1st person to 3rd for brief segments to fill in some of the past story). But overall, I found The Wife Upstairs to be interesting, engaging and a well-paced thriller that I highly recommend. There were so many WTF moments to keep my mind turning that I couldn’t put it down!

The Wife Upstairs will be released January 5, 2021.

*I received an ARC of The Wife Upstairs from St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*  

The Wife Upstairs: A Novel

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