Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Published: January 6th 2021
Publisher: Harper Collins – GB
Genres: Fiction, Thriller, Suspense
Rating: 2 stars
A man who seems perfect…
Eddie can give Jane everything she’s always wanted: stability, acceptance, and a picture-perfect life.
A wife who just won’t stay buried…
But what Jane doesn’t know is that Eddie is keeping a secret – a big secret. And when the truth comes out, the consequences are far more deadly than anyone could ever have imagined…
A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs is perfect for fans of Lucy Foley, Ruth Ware and Shari Lapena.
‘It’s not enough to live with Eddie. Being the girlfriend is not the way in. I have to be the wife.’
With a multitude of books for younger readers under her belt, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins has transitioned to adult fiction with her new release, The Wife Upstairs. A story of love, passion, desire, obsession, plot, deception and mystery, The Wife Upstairs is inspired by the all-time classic novel Jane Eyre.
Jane is a lonely woman in search of something fulfilling in her life. While out performing her job as a dog walker, Jane falls in love with Eddie Rochester. This charming man and loner is still recovering from the loss of his wife in a tragic accident. It seems that Jane might be the woman to pull him out of his fog of grief. Jane counts her blessings now she has found Eddie. Eddie provides Jane with everything she ever dreamed of, a beautiful home, security and stability. However, terrible secrets threaten to bubble to the surface and the revelation of these secrets may destroy this new relationship.
As a big fan of Jane Eyre and gothic thrillers, which this novel is inspired by, I felt it was essential that I purchase this book to read as soon as possible. I had high expectations for The Wife Upstairs, but unfortunately this book missed the mark for me personally.
On a positive note, I did appreciate the author’s attempts to tie in The Wife Upstairs with the much-loved classic title Jane Eyre. Modern retellings are hard, so I valued the attempts Rachael Hawkins made as a writer to draw together a modern domestic suspense tale to an old favourite. There were some vague linking elements that I could see between these two books, but on the whole, this one lacked the true style of Charlotte Bronte’s masterpiece. This is a shame, as I would have dearly loved to have embraced this book. The storyline itself is a more of a slow burn and plodding suspense tale. There are plenty of looming questions, some plot twists and surprising revelations that arise during The Wife Upstairs. There is also a strong air of evil anticipation that is established fairly early on in the piece. I was initially drawn to the opening few chapters of The Wife Upstairs, it caught my interest but as the book progressed, it began to grate on me.
Hawkins delivers her narrative in the form of three core shifting perspectives, this offered a balanced and comprehensive take on events. It was helpful to jump into the heads of these three different figures, as each offers an alternative take on the proceedings of the book. However, I will say that I didn’t like any of the keynote cast! I’m not sure of this was intentional or not by the author to include such a detestable cast set of characters, but I know I struggled to find anything redeeming about them!
The area that I found most problematic on The Wife Upstairs was the overuse of profanity. The excessive bad language utilised by the characters in the novel really didn’t serve any true purpose at all. In fact, it worked as a deterrent more than anything, putting me off the novel even further! This may be simply a personal issue, so if you are not in any way unsettled by the overuse of swearing in the novels you read, I’m sure you will be able to accept The Wife Upstairs
This domestic thriller didn’t set my world on fire, but it may be of interest to other readers. Be sure to check out the plethora of reviews on this one across many social media platforms, Amazon and Goodreads.
The Wife Upstairs by was published Rachel Hawkins on 6th January 2021 by Harper Collins – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.