The Family Upstairs- Book Review

Back with a book review! Just finished reading The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell and here’s my review for the book!

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

Hardcover: 352 pages

Date Published : November 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller/Domestic Thriller/Women’s Fiction

Lisa Jewell

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone and the UK instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller The Family Upstairs, as well as other much loved novels such as Watching You, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into over twenty five languages. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

This is the first time I was reading Lisa Jewell’s book. Found this copy of The Family Upstairs during my recent visit to a bookstore and so decided to get this book. And I was not to be disappointed.

In a nutshell, Libby Jones inherits a house in Chelsea through a trust fund that was created for her when she turned twenty-five years old. Despite the expensive and exquisite look from outside, the house however was known to have some dark secrets–twenty five years ago, the bodies of three decomposing people were found on the floor of the kitchen and Libby, who was just a baby was well fed and was left in a cot in another room. There used to be four children in the house but they were missing. Libby finds that her real name was Serenity Lamb and together with the Guardian journalist Miller, she discovers some dark secrets about the house.

Now as usual, let’s start with the ones I like about the book.

  • The book was actually well written and the author did a good job of keeping the reader hooked into the story.
  • There were some twists in the story that made the reader was made at the edge of the seat and wanting to know what is going to happen next in the story.
  • The story was divided into four parts and was told from the perspectives of three people–Libby, Lucy and the past which is told from the perspective of Henry, who happened to be Lucy’s brother set in somewhere in 1990’s. The house used to be full of parties and social life until Henry’s mother invited a woman named Birdie into the house along with a man named David Thomsen who eventually changes the house to the rags. So as a reader you can see how some unknown strangers changes everything around the house. This shows how naive people can be to let some unknown strangers into the house who eventually take control of the house.
  • By reading through different perspectives the reader will get to know what is happening in each part of the story.
  • It was really good and I really couldn’t stop reading the book as I want to read more and want to know what is going to happen next!

The things I didn’t like about the book.

  • I am actually confused about the title–The Family Upstairs didn’t really suit to the story.
  • Some parts of the story doesn’t really sound realistic to me–what type of person would let some unknown stranger to run the house let alone take all their stuff including money? Sometimes, I found it hard to believe it. Particularly the parts where the children were punished by locking up in their room, not feeding them, not giving them proper food. But then maybe, it may happen in real life.
  • Following a cult like that is actually disturbing to read sometimes.
  • The ending to me was bit confusing

Overall, this was a good psychological thriller book to read which will actually keep you up all night. Worth four stars!

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