I chose to read The Wife Upstairs as a book from my local library. Having local libraries that you can borrow books from without leaving your house has been great during lockdown.
A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins’s The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.
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?
With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?
Published 5th January 2021.
I listened to the audiobook of this story thanks to my local library. The Wife Upstairs was an enjoyable listen with the plot, characters and atmosphere plenty to keep my attention gripped.
The plot to me was quite predictable as I knew the Jane Eyre story, but with the modern thriller twist the author put on it, I was brought to an American Ladies Who Lunch street.
Many of the characters were unlikable but as I’ve always said if an author can make you feel for a character then they are a good writer.
I would recommend this book to all who like modern twists on classics. But if you don’t like classics and like thrillers that are not to fast paced, I think you would like this too.