The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Released: 05 November, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
View Title At: Goodreads
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Kobo/Walmart
Kiwi Rated It:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and Watching You comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

I am not going to waste a single second of your time before telling you that I devoured The Family Upstairs in less than twenty-four hours. I started reading it late at night, continued when I woke up, in the car on our way back from Utah, and as soon as we got home. It was just that good.

We start out meeting Libby Jones, who on her 25th birthday is set to receive information from the trust set up by her biological parents and learns that she has inherited a derelict mansion in one of the most prestigious areas in London. Sounds too good to be true, right? There is definitely a catch. Libby soon learns her past and her new home is shrouded in mystery and death - murder, suicides, a missing brother and sister ... Yikes!

We’re soon tossed around a couple of different voices. Alongside the current timeline, we have Lucy, homeless and living in France. And in the past, narrating the events that led up to the abandonment of both the mansion and baby Serenity, we have Henry. This can lead to a little bit of confusion as you’re never quite exactly sure who is who, especially since there are plenty of little misdirects to keep you guessing where everything is going, even after all the character’s stories and lives dovetail into one another.

TL;DR: Kiwi’s Quick Take

What I Loved: I’m a sucker for unreliable narrators and Lisa Jewell certainly gave me that. There are more than enough twists and turns to keep you guessing, and just when you think it’s all tied up into a satisfying and somewhat happy ending ... BOOM ... psycho curveball!

What I Didn’t Love: There were a few themes kinda mashed together that fell a little flat and it could be tough to keep up with all the characters at times.

Conclusion: With fast pacing, some unreliable narration, and more than a few twists and turns, The Family Upstairs is a great, easy, quick read for fans of suspense and domestic noir.

Author Links

Lisa Jewell:

Tagged With thriller, twisty, domestic noir, suspense, atria books

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