Review: ‘The Family Upstairs’ by Lisa Jewell ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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SYNOPSIS:

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, the baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.

In the kitchen lies three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.

They’ve been dead for several days.

Who has been looking after the baby?

And where did they go?

Two entangled families.

A house with the darkest of secrets.

A compulsive new read from Lisa Jewell.

MY REVIEW:

Dark, twisted, chilling, mysterious, fast-paced and addictive I devoured this book. A story about family, cults, secrets and death all woven together into a jaw-dropping thriller.

A month after her twenty-fifth birthday Libby Jones receives a letter telling her that she’s inherited her late parents’ eight bedroomed house on an expensive Chelsea street. She’s overwhelmed, having no idea before this that her birth parents are rich. At the same time, she finally learns the truth about her birth family. They didn’t die in a car accident like she believed, they were found dead along with another, unidentified man, having committed suicide. and Libby was found alone in the house with their bodies. Not only that, but she had a teenage brother and sister who vanished without a trace. Needing to know more she starts to research her past – a decision that takes her on a greater journey of self-discovery than she ever imagined. 

I always find books that explore different family’s dynamics interesting. who doesn’t want to be a fly on the wall in someone else’s house to see how things work in comparison to their own? Or is that just me? Told in two timelines by three narrators, we follow the story of this strange and fascinating family as LIbby tries to discover the truth about not only herself, but the tragic events of twenty-five years ago. 

Though the narrators seem totally random at first, we know that they must be connected somehow. The author slowly and skillfully brought it all together, delivering many surprises along the way. I thought the choice of these narrators with their very different perspectives and characteristics were well chosen and helped the reader get a fuller picture of what happened. I loved how the chapters are sequenced so that each person narrates one chapter in turn. This ramped up the tension, especially when the storyline in one chapter ended on a cliffhanger and you were left on the edge of your seat reading two more chapters before you could find out more. 

As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew I had to read it. Though I own a number of her books, this was actually the first time I’d read anything by this author and I’m now kicking myself for waiting so long. There’s a very good reason I see so many people raving about her – she’s sensational! Expertly written, the author had me in her grasp from the first page and didn’t let go until the last. And that ending! Wow! The only word I can think of is breathtaking. 

This phenomenal thriller is one of the best I’ve read this year. So if you enjoy a well-written thriller full of twists and turns then this is one to add to your tbr. It definitely lived up to the hype for me. 

Thank you to Penguin Random House UK for my gifted ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Available now from your favourite bookseller.

One thought on “Review: ‘The Family Upstairs’ by Lisa Jewell ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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