Synopsis from Simon & Schuster:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone 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.
About: The Family Upstairs is a mystery thriller written by Lisa Jewell. It will be published on 11/5/2019 by Atria Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, 320 pages. The genres are mystery, thriller, and fiction. According to the publisher’s website, “founded in 2002, Atria was from the start intended to be an environment where new ideas could flourish, the best writers of fiction and nonfiction could thrive and connect with an ever-widening readership, and the best practices of traditional publishing could be integrated with cutting-edge developments in the digital world. In short, a place where great books could come to light.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher. One other book I have read from this author is Watching You.
My Experience: I started reading The Family Upstairs on 8/14/2019 and finished it on 8/17/2019. This book is a great read! Definitely different. I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or fascinated by it all. I’m annoyed that the owner of the house lose control so easily yet I’m fascinated how people are good at manipulating other people into doing things they don’t normally do. I enjoyed reading Lucy’s life with her children but not so much with her memory of Michael. Her memory reminds me of the book Behind Closed Doors, though I rather action instead of mostly recollection. I like Libby’s investigation into her past with the journalist. Henry’s recount of his childhood is full of suspense. I couldn’t read it fast enough to unravel the mystery.
This book is told in the third person point of view following Libby, 25, as she receives a letter from a solicitor. The second view is Lucy, nearly 40. She’s stopped to eat with her son Marco, 12, daughter Stella, 5, and the dog. They are currently homeless. The third view is Henry, 41. He recounted his life with his family when he was nearly 11. His view is of the past while Libby and Lucy’s view are of the present. Libby inherits the house and discovers that she has a mysterious past. This book is divided into 4 parts.
The Family Upstairs is well written but I can’t help how annoying the whole situation was. The teenagers, especially Phin and Henry. They know the secret passage out of the house. They have many chances to leave the house if they wanted to but instead they choose to stay and endure. Henry especially has a way out with Justin but he didn’t take it. I’m also disappoint that Sally is so weak and couldn’t save her kids. I also wonder how Birdie knew of David when she decided to bring him to the house. I thought that would be explained later but it wasn’t. As much annoyed as I feel, the story is still a page turner because I enjoy Libby’s investigation into her mysterious past. I like Lucy’s clever son Marco. I was able to guess about the baby but I like the surprise twists on the baby’s true biological parents. This book is still an interesting read and I do recommend everyone to read it.
Pro: fast paced, page turner, mysterious house, suspense, mysterious past,
Con: weak boy characters, memory of behind closed doors rather than action
I rate it 4 stars!
About the Author:
Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone, as well as I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into sixteen languages so far. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial. (Photo and info obtained from Simon & Schuster’s website).
More Information about Atria Books
***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.