Book Reviews

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Jane is a dog-walker in the community of Thornfield Estates in Birmingham, Alabama. This community is filled to the brim with rich people, with more possessions than they can keep track of. It’s a relatively boring life until Jane meets Eddie Rochester — a recently widowed mysterious resident of the gated estate.

Eddie’s wife, Bea drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, both bodies lost in the deep Alabama waters. In Eddie, Jane sees an opportunity. He’s rich, he lives in this exclusive community, he’s very attractive and he can offer the lifestyle Jane has never had.

As the two fall for each other, Jane can’t help but feel haunted by Eddie’s deceased wife and the strong legacy she holds in the community. She just can’t seem to fill the shoes that Bea wore, and the entire neighborhood sees it. 

Which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending…?

•••

This was a fast-paced, well done thriller that I enjoyed quite a bit. In addition to being a captivating thriller, I love that this is a modern-retelling of a classic. Giving new life to Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, this author took liberties to make the story her own, and it really stands out. 

With each character you meet, there is a mysterious way about them. I found myself desperate to continue reading just to uncover the entire truth. There are multiple perspectives, each one more intriguing than the last. As the story unraveled, I did begin to predict the ending – which is unfortunate, but I think necessary in building the final chapters. If you’ve read Jane Eyre, you might recall thinking, “Girl… c’mon” when finishing the book. And The Wife Upstairs gives you the satisfaction you’ve needed since reading the final pages of Charlotte Bronte’s novel.

Ultimately, this is a fantastic thriller and I highly recommend picking it up if you want a book you won’t be able to put down. It was incredibly fun to learn the mysterious back-stories of each character as the book continued. Like I said, there were some elements I found predictable, there were others that just shocked me. Reading Jane Eyre is not a necessary predecessor for The Perfect Wife, this book is great as a thriller itself.

PUBLICATION DETAILS: St. Martin’s Press, January 5th, 2021, 9781250245496; Fiction/Thriller

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