The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell Review

One house, two families, three bodies

So this isolation lark isn’t always fun, but it is doing loads for my production levels when it comes to reading and reviewing. Here’s my second review of the day. The Family Upstairs was published on the 5th November 2019 by Atria Books and was awarded the Goodreads Choice Award for Mystery & Thriller (2019). Described as a”A twisty engrossing story of betrayal by famous author Ian Rankin, I had high hopes. 

Here’s the synopsis…

Be careful who you let in…

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

This book was wild. So many twist and turns and so very shocking. We have multiple different perspectives in this book. The first being Libby, who is in search of answers after her birth parents who she never met leave her a house in their Will which she receives on her 25th birthday. The second is Henry who is telling a story of what happened in the house in the 90’s, the tales of two families joining together in the home in a sinister manner. The third is Lucy who is living a struggled life in France with her two children, hiding from a past that obviously still scares her. 

I wasn’t expecting the plot to go the way that it did at all and I wasn’t at all expecting the ending that we got. This book is very, very gripping. We love a good thriller, especially one that keeps you guessing. I also like the way that Jewell makes you feel empathy for every character even though most of them have done some questionable things. It really shines a light on how trauma can bring out different sides of people when they are at their most scared and desperate. 

The way that it was pieced together so perfectly as well gave it a lovely pace, that was fast but not rushed. I feel like she tied everything together nicely. Nothing felt like it got left out or forgot about. No part of the story felt like it had been compromised for any other part of the book, it balanced perfectly. 

My favourite character had to be Libby. I think she was a very strong and brave character that took so much into her stride without wavering. I feel like throughout the book she really developed as a character and became more forgiving and less judgemental. At the beginning she was very appearance orientated and throughout the story as she was faced with all these scary situations and she discovered more about the house and the events that occurred there she changed so much and for the better. 

All in all, I think this book is a great addition to its genre. It had me on the edge of my seat really hoping for the best outcome for each of the characters. The plot was well executed and developed and wrapped up so well. I definitely would recommend this book to thriller lovers. It makes for a very entertaining read. 

Star Rating /5

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 

 

 

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