The Wife Upstairs
By Rachel Hawkins
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250245496, January 5, 2021, 304pp.
The Short of It:
This is the perfect read for now. Quick, impossible to put down and some twists for good measure.
The Rest of It:
Jane’s life has been less than luxurious. As a product of the foster care system, she is skeptical, guarded and envious of those who have it easier. Scraping pennies to get by and forced to live with a roommate she truly cannot stand, she finds a job walking dogs in a ritzy neighborhood. Jane is not much of an animal lover but she is fascinated by the McMansions in this community and the people who live in them. The women, all rich and well-taken care of, have no idea what it’s like to not make the rent. Jane wonders what it would be like to be one of them.
Jane’s fascination with these women leads her to Eddie who is recently widowed. His wife Bea went missing in a boating accident with her best friend Blanche. Bea was eventually declared dead even though they never found her body because in order for Eddie to take over her home decor business her death had to be legally noted. Eddie lives alone in his big, beautiful house but when he sees Jane walking the neighbor’s dog there is a little spark. A spark that prompts him to get his own dog so that Jane can walk his dog too. The two find an instant connection but Jane senses something more there.
Eddie’s wife has only been gone for a short while and since many of the ladies in the neighborhood were good friends with Bea and Blanche, they can’t help but be skeptical over this new, young woman in Eddie’s life but Jane is determined to be one of them and when Eddie provides free use of his credit card, she begins to find her way in.
It all sounds very superficial but it’s superficial in the way those rich housewives shows are. Juicy and full of gossipy goodness. Jane is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but as the story unfolds, you quickly begin to realize that something much darker is at play and it’s good, very good. I picked this book up and didn’t put it down until I turned the last page.
It’s being called a modern retelling of Jane Eyre which I find interesting. I didn’t see it as that myself but it was juicy and twisty in all the right places and perfect for my mood. Very entertaining.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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