Tag Archives: Atria Books

Review: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs

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.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review, Tour & Giveaway: The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden

The Girls in the Garden
By Lisa Jewell
Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781476792217, June 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

The “girls” in this garden have plenty of secrets and that made this a really hard book to put down.

The Rest of It:

*No Spoilers*

After their house is burned down by their mentally ill father, Grace and Pip find themselves in a new flat in London. Their mother, Clare, hasn’t given them all of the details of their father’s care but the reality is that she’s afraid of what their future holds and not sure if the marriage can be saved.

In the meantime, she’s moved them to this lovely neighborhood which includes a private park (garden) for the inhabitants who live there. This common area is where all of the families hang out, mainly the children, so Grace and Pip find themselves the focus of much scrutiny if not friendship. As they begin to make a place for themselves, Clare finds herself fascinated with her neighbors, mainly the seemingly perfect Adele and her attractive husband Leo.

Then, in the midst of all this perfection, one of the girls is found unconscious after a neighborhood celebration and everyone has their own suspicions as to what happened.

This was a really good read. There is so much to consider. The characters are well-developed and Jewell does an excellent job of tossing doubt around without being too obvious. The setting was a huge draw for me. You know that scene in the movie Notting Hill where Anna Scott and William Thacker jump the fence into that private park? Well, the setting in this book is just like that one. Green, lush, private and filled with secrets. It’s wonderful to be surrounded by so much beauty but also alarming to always be on display, There is no privacy since all of their homes open onto this common area. Imagine kids coming and going and adults partying at all hours, etc.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. Each and every time I picked it up I just wanted to keep reading. Jewell’s handling of what happened that night, along with the very real concerns that Clare has regarding her family, are balanced beautifully.

Jewell has written lots of other books so now I feel the need to read them all. Have you read any of her books?

Lisa Jewell

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TLC Book Tours

GIVEAWAY

This tour includes a giveaway which closes on 10/3. Click here to enter. 

Source: Review & giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.