Dec 24, 2022

Review--The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie­ Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?


I finally picked up Rachel Hawkins' adult debut, The Wife Upstairs! A chilling mystery that will leave you guessing until the very end! This was a book so twisted with mystery that I honestly didn't know what to believe but I loved every moment of it! This one has been called a modern day Jane Eyre with a twist, but since I don't read many classics, I had no idea what to expect from this one and I loved that the book could keep me surprised!

When the story begins we meet Jane, a woman of mystery who we learn right away is a bit of liar--or just likes to keep her secrets, especially about her identity as she tells us early on, Jane isn't her real name--and a thief. She works as a dog walker in a very upper class neighborhood that pays just barely enough to make her rent with a skeevy roommate. So to help make ends meets she lifts a few things from the uber rich people, little things they'll never miss; an earring there, a bracelet here, and sells them to help get by.

Then one day she meets Eddie, a recent widower, who Jane has an immediate attraction to. It's not just that he is good looking, but Eddie is very well off after his wife's passing, he now has control of her successful company and things are going very good for him, so naturally, Jane sets her sights on him. Jane more less manipulates things to gain Eddie's affection, and it works rather well for the two begin to hit it off. Things are looking great...until the lies and secrets of the wealthy and well-to-do come to fore.

We very early on get details about how Eddie's wife and her best friend died. The mystery behind it and how no bodies had been recovered and leads to a chilling answer. One can imagine that the reader's suspicion turns to Eddie, the "grieving" husband. But it will take awhile before Jane is able to put the pieces all together herself, but will she be able to put them together fast enough before she turns into the next victim? Dun-Dun-DUNNNNNN!

Yes, this one was very mysterious indeed! I'll admit, there was a kind of slow building suspense happening here as Jane slowly learns about Eddie's previous wife. A picture is being painted and it's beginning to look very dark indeed. As Jane tries to adapt to a rich and luxurious lifestyle, she's learning there's a reason why the rich are able to keep things secret and it's a not a good thing!

This book was very...mysterious. It's hard to really pinpoint an adjective to describe it without delving too deep! Although, calling a mystery mysterious is redundant! Lol. But there really isn't another way to describe this dark tale that springs forth more than a puzzle or two! I will tell you that I did not see this ending coming, and I thought I had it nailed down too just because of the obvious facts that were presented early on. But Hawkins managed to surprise me once again! I have loved all of her YA books, and I can safely say the same for her adult books now too! Definitely looking forward to reading more of these chilling mysteries if her adult debut is anything to go by!

If you're looking for a dark mystery to read rife with secrets and a puzzle that will keep you guessing until the very end, then The Wife Upstairs is the read for you! It was a pretty chilling read that kept me guessing, trying to figure out whodunit and which character I should be rooting for. It's a read that kept me entertained right until its end! Highly recommended for mystery fans!

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars

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