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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

#ATBR2019 Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell @atriabooks @jessmapreviews @lisajewelluk

The Family Upstairs 
by Lisa Jewell

Thank you Atria books for these amazing copies.

Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Date: November 5, 2019
352 Pages
Genres: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller

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.

My Review:

Told from three different points of view, we get Lucy, Libby and Henry, varying time lines and some twisty goodness.  Jewell has a way of making her reads immediately compulsive.  The tone is set at the very beginning and you keep turning page after page trying to figure it all out.

I found myself being initially more interested in Lucy's story line and not as intrigued with the rest but then that would switch to Libby and then to Henry as the chapters progressed.  Each story line becoming more clear with each page and that ending.... oh my.  I do love that dun dun dunnnnnn moment for sure.  I did feel the ending got a little bit  **too** convoluted as we see how the whole story unfolds.

Another excellent piece of work from this author, who is one of my faves.  Honestly, I didn't feel it ran as smoothly as prior novels I have read of hers.  I found myself immediately drawn in, then lost a teeny bit of interest in the middle but then it absolutely picked up speed and I couldn't stop reading.  While I did see some of the red herrings and figured out a few things, nothing came out completely shocking.

This felt like a blend of family drama/cultish/thriller mish mosh and I think will be a bit divisive within the thriller community.  I still can't wrap my head completely around how I feel about it but what I do know is that yes, I would recommend this book.  Yes, it's Jewell and she's an autobuy author for me and I love her brilliant mind. I highly recommend And Then She Was Gone and Watching You, but let's face it - if you like thrillers, you read Jewell.  End of story.


Jessica's Review:

Ever pick up a book and realize it was exactly what you needed? That's what THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell was for me. A solid way for me to end the month of October - I doubt I'll be able to sneak in one more before the end of the month ;) This one was definitely different from her previous books. If you're a fan of Ruth Ware and that Gothic atmosphere, then you will love this one. She crafted this one and set the scene perfectly. 

So I feel like the synopsis gives you all of the information you need before going into this book. I couldn't believe how addictive this book ended up being. I just couldn't put it down and I needed to see how the story was going to unfold. We get multiple perspectives in this book and as everything pieces together we finally get the link between them all. The twists, the family dynamic, the dysfunction, the mystery, the character development, the ending - I loved it all!

This one is definitely my favorite from Jewell and I know I won't be the only one. If you're looking for a compulsive read and book that you can lose yourself in, then this needs to be on your TBR. I think this is a great one for those new to Jewell to pick up - and if you're already a fan, then you won't be disappointed!

5 stars

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