January 7, 2021

The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs

by Rachel Hawkins

Published January 5, 2021
by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Psychological Suspense

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins’s The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Our Thoughts – Patricia, Stephanie and Linda discuss their response to The Wife Upstairs:

What is your take on the comparisons to Jane Eyre?

Linda
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is a modern version of Jane Eyre, which I haven’t read. I enjoyed every minute of this book; the story is very well written. The author does an excellent job of setting the scene so that you can picture the location and characters really well. I loved Jane; she is the type of character that you just root for.

Patricia
I love this rags to riches story, that reminded me of Pygmalion (My Fair Lady) with a warning. Be careful what you wish for. Jane comes from the foster system and is forced to live with her creepy acquaintance from her foster days so that she can make ends meet.  But she has aspirations.  Much higher aspirations.

Stephanie
I love the depth of the characters and how endearing Jane is. I would love to be her friend!

What did you like the most about The Woman Upstairs?

Patricia
I loved how quickly the plot moved, how little hints were dropped like breadcrumbs along the way, and how Hawkins takes you to a surprise ending you won’t see coming.   And I enjoyed every minute of it! I enjoyed how Hawkins develops the character of Jane as she  parlays her job as a dog walker in a wealthy neighborhood into a relationship with Eddie Rochester, a recent widower whose wife is presumed drowned, along with her best friend. After gaining entrée into their world, Jane begins to dress, spend, and act like one of the Thornfield Estates women she so envied,

Stephanie
So you know how when you’ve read some boring, poorly written books that you didn’t like and then you read a good book and it’s that much better? Yeah, that didn’t happen here. I’ve read several fantastic 5-star books in a row and yet The Wife Upstairs still totally blew me away! I read it in less than a day and I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough! I love how well-written it was and the first-person perspectives of multiple characters. I absolutely loved the ending! It was perfect! I highly recommend this book!

Linda
I loved the air of suspense in this book, the story is building along nicely and then you realize you are hooked! I don’t want to give anything away, but this book had me smirking at times so all I will say is if you love psychological thrillers, then you should love this!! One of my favorites of 2020.

Huge thanks from all of us to St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for the privilege of reading this book!

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