Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Released: January 5th, 2021
Received: Own (BOTM)
Warnings: Mental health, abuse

3 1/2 kitties

Author Rachel Hawkins is back with an all-new thriller, The Wife Upstairs. You can already tell, just from the name, that this is going to be full of twisted turns and revelations.

Jane has been looking for a bright turn in her life for ages, and now she might have finally found it. She’s been hired as a dog-walker in Thornfield Estates, and that opportunity has led to others. Such as the introduction to a rich widower.

For a moment there, it seemed like she was about to have everything. Yet everyone carries baggage. In the case of Jane and Eddie, their baggage is full of potentially lethal secrets, should the wrong one get out.

“I hear the car before I see it, but even then, I don’t move, and later, I’d look back at that moment and wonder if I somehow knew what was going to happen. If everything in my life had been leading me to that one spot, to that one house.”

The Wife Upstairs immediately caught my attention, thanks to that vibrant cover. Well, that and the author, naturally. I was instantly curious about who the wife upstairs truly was, and how it was all going to come into play.

So, did it hold up to those high expectations? For the most part, yeah, it did! The Wife Upstairs is told through several perspective shifts, one of which also results in a format change. Jane is the main character, and thus dominates the pages. But Eddie and Bea also get their say.

Bea’s story comes with the most interesting format – hers being told through a series of long letters. It’s quite clever, and raises plenty of questions about what is actually going on behind the scenes.

On that note, there are SO many twists and turns in this novel. Good luck keeping up with them all! Obviously, I’m not going to spoil any of them here, other than to say that they were more than enough to keep me reading right until the end.

I should probably mention, for the dog lovers out there: the dog is fine. I promise! I know I won’t be the only person that worries when a rescue dog gets introduced into what is certain to be a twisted thriller.

Intentionally or not, The Wife Upstairs really reminded me of Jane Eyre. Given the main character’s name, I’m going to assume that there is a lot of intent behind that decision. So if a modern/thriller retelling is what you’re looking for, you’re absolutely going to get it here.


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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