ARC Review Book Review

ARC Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

Title: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Thriller
Published On: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 352

Synopsis: 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.

My thoughts

(I was provided an advance copy from the publisher, Atria Books, through Netgalley.)

I picked up The Family Upstairs at just the right time. I could feel myself sinking into a bit of a reading slump after reading a few books that just didn’t catch my attention like I hoped they would. This thrilling novel had me reading fast and highly entertained. It took me a bit to get the characters straight, but I enjoyed that each one was different and engaging. 

The Family Upstairs has a very gothic feel to it, and for some reason it kept reminding me of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The movie, not the books–since I’ve never read the books. Maybe it’s the big, old house, which becomes its own character in the novel. And the largely ignored children.

While thrillers aren’t my go-to genre, I enjoy them when they’re mysterious and fast-paced. The only reason this one didn’t get 4 full stars from me was because the ending was a bit convoluted and took me out of the story. But it did have a great last line!

Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

I might like the alternate cover even better…

Have you read The Family Upstairs yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Wandering!

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