Cover Image: The Wife Upstairs

The Wife Upstairs

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Member Reviews

I loved this book! Jane is escaping her past and finds a partner in a rich neighborhood. Her partner lost his wife recently and people are surprised he is moving on so quickly. Especially since he was a suspect in her death.

This book has multiple plots and they fit together so well. Stories of frienemines, family trouble, and trying to fit in are central themes. I was surprised by the ending but thought it fit the book perfectly.
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A twisty suspense novel set in the South.  Jane falls for Eddie, a wealthy widower in a neighborhood full of mansions and secrets.  Edge of your seat thriller.  I binge read it in a few hours and felt completely satisfied.
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⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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I LOVED this book! LOVED! 💕
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Jane is down on her luck and broke. She has recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama to leave her past behind. She has just started dog walking for the uber wealthy in a fancy, exclusive neighborhood.
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One day, out walking dogs, she meets Eddie- a ridiculously handsome man that lives in one of the beautiful mansions.
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Eddie’s wife has recently died in a boating accident. After they chat for a while, Eddie asks Jane out. Jane is certain her luck has finally turned around.
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This is the life Jane has always dreamed of, but she is struggling to fit in. With all of the gossip in the neighborhood, Jane constantly feels like she is in the shadow of Eddie’s late wife. 
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Later, suspicions arise..... 👀
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Wow. I do not know why I let this book sit on my shelf for so long. I binged this one in two sittings. The story had me hooked immediately and I couldn't let go! I felt like I had figured out what may have happened about halfway through but the writing was so well done that I had to finish the book to pull everything together. Very well done. Highly recommended!
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4.25 stars / This review will be posted at BookwormishMe.com on 22 December 2020. 


Jane is a dog walker in an upscale neighborhood near Birmingham, Alabama. She lives with a former foster “brother” in an apartment in a nearby lower end community. The only reason she lives with him is because she didn’t have anywhere or anyone else to run to. He’s creepy, but it’s all she can afford right now. 

Jane pines for the life the women in this neighborhood lead. Beautiful homes, nice clothes, lots of jewelry, and none of them work. Every so often she swipes something from them. An earring, a bracelet, whatever she can to supplement her meager income. She knows it’s wrong, but Jane feels they won’t really notice anyway. They have so much.

Then one day out for a dog walk, she nearly gets run over by Eddie Rochester. He invites her in for coffee to make it up to her, and something starts. Eddie might be just the ticket that Jane needs to leave her abysmal life and start over. Might be just what Eddie needs to since the death of his wife. Perhaps something perfect for both of them.

Lots of secrets and backstories in this one. Told from three different points of view, you get a little more insight into each character’s thinking and motivation. Just when you think one person is guilty, something else comes into play which twists your mind into believing maybe someone else is guilty. It’s written in a perfect style to keep you guessing. The title definitely gives a bit away, but not enough to completely understand what’s going on. 

Good suspense and mystery here.
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I was hooked from beginning to end. I’ve never read Jane Eyre so this whole story was new but fantastic! So good I just pre-ordered this book to have it for my personal collection.
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WOW! I did not see that ending coming!

This is one of the more surprising psychological thrillers I have read. I was completely drawn into the story with the intriguing descriptions of how the characters lives played out, slowly at first, but then picking up steam as the book went on. Rachel Hawkins did an amazing job adding lots of little details that made me feel as if I could truly understand what motivated them. Then she casually tosses in some twists and turns that astonished me.

The ending was intriguing, and while the mystery part was neatly wrapped up there are a few lose ends that one of the characters marvels over. Nice touch! 

Cons: lots of cursing.
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"The Wife Upstairs", by Rachel Hawkins, is a mystery/thriller that will captivate its readers! Jane (a.k.a Helen) is a young lady with a troubled past who quickly becomes enmeshed in the drama that a ritzy, high-class neighborhood is hiding. Things start to accelerate when she begins dating the newly widowed Eddie, who lost his wife in a boating accident. But maybe his wife isn't as far removed as Jane thinks? I was eager to finish this book and see how it would be resolved, and I was not disappointed! This was an excellent book, and I would highly recommend it to fans of mystery/thriller books!

Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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I read Jane Eyre when I was in high school and I remember being drawn into the dark magnificence of the gothic romance. It became an immediate favorite, so you can imagine my excitement when I heard about The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins. It is more or less a modern retelling of Bronte's plot, but there is plenty of originality in this twisty tale. The mood of this gothic domestic thriller also reminds me of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, since Jane is always trying to live up to her seemingly perfect predecessor. However, there is no brooding Mrs. Danvers in this version and the house in Thornfield Estates where Jane and Eddie live doesn't quite have the same larger-than-life character that Manderley did. Despite the obvious similarities to these two classics, The Wife Upstairs stands on its own as a modern mystery full of twists and turns that readers will devour in no time at all!
Jane is a young woman who is running away from a troubled past. She is utterly alone in the world until she meets Eddie Rochester, a recent widower who owns a large estate in the posh neighborhood where Jane works as a dog walker. Sparks fly when the two meet and a romance blooms between the unlikely pair. Jane slowly learns how to live in a life of luxury, but is always keeping true happiness at arm's length, subconsciously fearing it's all too good to be true. She becomes obsessed with learning as much as possible about the late Mrs. Bea Rochester, the founder of a successful business who was declared dead after disappearing during a tragic boating accident that also killed her best friend. It is presumed Bea drowned alongside her friend, but her body was never found. Jane finds out soon enough that things aren't quite as they seem when the police determine the two women's deaths were actually homicides and Eddie is a prime suspect. Jane can't seem to figure out who is the bigger threat to this new shiny life that's waiting for her- her fiancé or his dead wife.

Fans of Jane Eyre will recognize major elements of the plot, but Hawkins does a wonderful job recreating this tale for the twenty-first century. Jane herself isn't quite as pure and innocent as the original. She is running from a terrible secret in her past which she fears could destroy this new life she's made for herself if it were to ever be discovered. Bea is also a very modern woman, the creator of a popular southern lifestyle brand called 'Southern Manors' that reminds me of Reese Witherspoon's Draper James clothing line. Unfortunately, something is lost in the reinvention of these characters because I couldn't connect with any of them, Jane especially. I wanted to like her, but I just didn't. She was a little too hard and flat throughout the novel and even when she voiced her vulnerabilities, it didn't come across as genuine. 

The lack of character depth is my only complaint about this novel. I would still highly recommend it to fans of the domestic suspense and thriller genre. You don't have to have read the classics I mentioned to enjoy this title, although it will definitely give you a better idea of the mood the author was trying to create. I couldn't put this one down and felt like it was a wonderful take on some of my favorite gothic romances!

*Thanks to the author, St. Martin's Press, and Netgalley for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review!
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The Wife Upstairs was a wild ride! I read this one in a little over twenty-four hours and couldn’t seem to put it down. The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense. 

Jane is a broke dog-walker in the ultra-fancy Thornfield Estates. But one day she catches the eye of Eddie Rochester. Eddie is recently widowed and the neighborhood’s most mysterious resident. Jane and Eddie quickly fall for each other… But they each seem to be holding tight to their own secrets. How can plain Jane ever measure up to the beautiful legend of Bea- his dead wife? 

This book is full of delicious twists that will keep you thinking long after you’ve finished. 

Words I’d use to describe The Wife Upstairs- suspenseful, trilling, fast-moving, cleaver, well-written, and dark. 

Four fantastic stars!! Be sure to pick this one up! 

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. The Wife Upstairs publishes on January 5, 2021.
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Four stars to a very readable book with easy prose and an entire cast of depraved characters. 

I think the main impressive point for me in this book was what a modern version of Jane Eyre boils down to. You’ve removed the Victorian constraints, and so things don’t take as long, awful things can just happen - the book felt like a trainwreck coming at you in not-so slow motion, which was engaging and kept me reading. It read like domestic horror of a sort at one point; just several Oh-Nos in concurrence. The writing spoke fluent millennial, and the plot was southern gothic vibes meets the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills or something.

The other thing that I enjoyed about this was the sheer lack of a genuine relationship in the whole thing; every single character is up to something and wearing some sort of mask. The friendships among the women are incredibly fake, and the relationships between them and then men who appear are built on shallowness and lies. Sure, the men are terrible, but they are certainly not the only ones. There is no good guy here, and it has made me reconsider the original Jane Eyre in different ways after looking through this modern lens. For example, the character of Rochester; when you remove all Victorian manners and stuff that we make allowances for when reading now, as a modern character, he’s just a terrible, controlling chauvinist. And I loved Rochester, for what it was worth. Jane; now, she’s been made very interesting in this iteration. She’s given color, flavor, a backstory that is much better than the drab governess who can paint well and teach French. 

I also appreciate the, if not a tense thriller exactly, strong mystery aspect here. There were homages to what felt like Du Maurier’s Rebecca, and even the old movie Laura, and I appreciated such vintage references, even if coincidental. There were a couple plot twists too, just when you think you know what’s going on, and I wholly appreciated that, bored as I get once I’m certain I’ve solved the mystery or guessed an ending.
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This book was the perfect escape. It was lovely and fun. It was my first book by this author and I will definitely be on the look out for more!!
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If you are looking for a great read with lots of twists, turns and surprises, grab a copy of this page turner.   I absolutely loved this book.  

Jane had a terrible family life and ended up in the foster system.  She is now a young woman trying to support herself and rooming with someone she met at a half-way house.  She walks dogs in a rich, snobbish subdivision where she  happens to meet Eddie Rochester.  Eddie's wife, Bea and her best friend, Blanche, disappear one night from a pontoon ride after they had both been drinking.   Bea is a rich woman with her own company and both women are presumed dead.   Eddie is handsome and Jane sees an opportunity here to get the lifestyle she has always yearned for.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this book that kept me captivated from start to finish.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good thriller.
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Did you hear that noise? 🤔 

Shortest Summary Ever: Jane is a down-and-out steals-from-her-clients dog walker one day, and the girlfriend of Eddie Rochester, rich bachelor of Thornfield Estates the next. Ah, but there’s a dead wife Bea and her best friend Blanche whose collective demise is haunting the relationship. Everyone in the gossip circle is still buzzing. Thrust into a Real Housewives universe, is Jane ready for what that entails? Is Eddie everything he seems? 

Thoughts: A pretty liberal twist on Jane Eyre, this novel grasped me from go. First - Jane isn’t likeable, but I liked her. Not really sure if I’m supposed to, but the fact she steals from her wealthy cookie-cutter cloyingly cute yet decidedly annoying clients (who don’t even notice) makes me smirk away. I can’t blame a girl from gettin’ her hustle on (I could, but I don’t want to!) Something about a solidly written anti-hero sends my heart soaring.

She’s no dummy - she’s street smart Jane and I LIKE IT. This is aptly written, brightly paced, and keeps the reader in that perfect riveted-at-the-roots position.

All my reviews available at scrappymags.com around time of publication.

Genre: Mystery/ Women’s Lit

Recommend to: Those looking for a quick, guilty pleasure read. Fans of Real Housewives. 

Not recommended to: if you’re a Jane Eyre purist. 

Thank you to the author, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced copy in exchange for my always-honest review and for making me strangely happy I’m not hawkin’ on rich dudes.
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I loved this modern day interpretation of Jane Eyre. The author very successfully pulls off several unexpected twists. Just when I thought one think was happening, the story went in a completely different direction. I look forward to reading more from this author.
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I started reading this in the late summer and was feeling all sorts of things from it- mostly anger and annoyance... so I decided to put it down for a bit.

My anger and annoyance was mainly due to the fact that I am incredibly critical when it comes to domestic thrillers and when something starts going the way I don’t want it to or the characters act in a way or do something I wouldn’t do if I were in their shoes, I get mad...

So, I think that putting this down and picking it back up a few months later was literally the best thing I could have done. I will say that I was really enjoying the pace of the first half of the book and that didn’t change in the second half. These characters were all really well done and completely complex.

Dealing with thrillers, I like to have unreliable narrators to keep that thrill factor up there when the twists hit and this was full of them. You never know if you’re getting a true story or if you’re getting a fabrication or yarn someone is telling.

This was told in three points of view, some past and present... Jane, the young dog walker to one of Alabama’s richest neighborhoods, who finds herself the new interest of an incredibly handsome widower. Eddie, the man who is dealing with the aftermath of losing his wife in a tragic accident involving her and her best friend, intoxicated on a boat in the middle of the night. And finally, Bea, the wife...

Through this deceiving plot, you never know what to expect, what the truth really is and who to trust. But it was so good! I was immediately drawn to Jane and her desire for a better life. With secrets that are starting to catch up with her I was really sympathetic to her plight. She was strong and resilient and never stopped questioning the apparent truth.
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A modern Jane Eyre adaptation, southern gothic style. Unfortunately shallow with minimal character development, but an easy quick read.
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These days, the thriller market is so saturated by so many mundane, UNthrilling books, that I didn’t have my hopes up going into this one. But boy, was I pleasantly surprised! 
Jane is a dog walker for a rich neighborhood. Having grown up in foster care, broke and living with a roommate she can’t stand, Jane is looking for a way out. When a chance meeting with the handsome and rich Eddie Rochester turns into much more, Jane can’t believe her good fortune.  But Eddie’s wife, Bea and her best friend recently were presumed drowned in a boating accident. But what really happened? Did Eddie have anything to do with it? The more Jane starts to dig around, the more things look bad for Eddie. What really happened that night on the boat? Did Eddie have something to do with it?
This book brought it all and I absolutely loved it!
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I loved this modern twist on Jane Eyre. It was deliciously suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down! Really excellent.
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Jane has recently arrived in Birmingham, staying with a creepy guy she knew during her time in foster care.  She’s left a job at the local coffeeshop to become a dog-walker in the gated community Thornfield Estates where no one notices if their knick knacks or a few pieces of jewelry go missing.

Then one fateful day, Jane meet Eddie Rochester.  Eddie’s wife Bea recently died in a boating accident with her best friend Blanche, their bodies never found in the deep lake.  Eddie is dark and brooding …and rich.
Happy to fall into the lap of luxury, Jane is able for a short time to feel relief that her worries are over and she can leave everything in the past.  Then she finds herself learning more about the first Mrs. Rochester:  an ambitious woman who started with nothing and ended up with an incredibly successful southern lifestyle brand that made her a millionaire.  The comments made by the women in the neighborhood and Blanche’s husband Tripp leave Jane uncertain as to what really happened the night Bea and Blanche disappeared.  Then, Blanche’s body is discovered and the police begin a murder investigation.

The Wife Upstairs is pitched as a Southern Gothic Jane Eyre which had me immediately interested. 
For me, it was a mediocre thriller.  It was entertaining enough to keep me turning the pages but it so closely follows the contemporary thriller formula of recent years that I already had it figured out basically from page one.  

Jane is on the run from her past but why is all a bit vague, dragging to the (underwhelming) reveal in the final quarter of the book.  She’s flawed and somewhat unlikeable and we’re supposed to flip back and forth on whether we’re rooting for her.  Eddie isn’t all that fleshed out, he’s kind of a prop in my opinion.  Bea is the most interesting character here as we learn more about her, but again, I had already figured out her role.  The twist ending won’t be much of a twist for readers who have been reading thrillers released in the past decade.  I can’t rave about it but it’ll make for a perfectly fine beach read.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me an ARC in exchange for my honest review.  The Wife Upstairs is scheduled for release on January 5, 2021.
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