The Family Upstairs
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, 9781501190100, November 2019, 352pp.
The Short of It:
As the title suggests, this is a book about a family but the type of family and the secrets they hold, slowly unfold into a story that I could not easily predict, which is a good thing!
The Rest of It:
The Family Upstairs is told from alternating points of view and jumps back and forth between the present day and the events of the past. Normally, this type of book frustrates me but here, I found it to work quite well.
One thread has Lucy on the street with her two young children. What happened to her? Why are they homeless? Another, involves Libby, a young woman who was adopted as a baby. She’s just been informed that she’s come into quite a large inheritance which makes her extremely curious about her past. In the last thread, we are introduced to the “family upstairs” and the sinister things going on that are revealed in pieces, bit by bit. ALL OF IT is related.
The Family Upstairs was THE book everyone was reading over Thanksgiving break and for once, I joined in. It took a little bit of time for me to get into the flow of it. All the time jumping slowed me down until about half-way through, when I began to turn the pages faster because it was all coming together in a way that piqued my interest.
I’ve read one other Jewell book, The Girls in the Garden and that was also very good. I remember adding all her books to my Kindle after reading that one, and I was not wrong to do so. I really like her style of writing. There’s a pulse to her work, a bit of tension that I enjoy but it’s not predictable or silly. I am loving these types of reads these days.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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