Tag Archives: General Fiction

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: The Invited

The Invited

The Invited
By Jennifer McMahon
Doubleday, 9780385541381, April 2019, 368pp.

The Short of It:

Not your typical ghost story.

The Rest of It:

Nate and Helen come to town with the hopes of building their dream house and living out their lives in peace and tranquility. The land they purchased was a good price, secluded, surrounded by nature and… haunted. Helen figures this out fairly quickly but Nate is not convinced even though one bad thing happens after another.

As they build their home from scratch, Helen learns of the history behind the land and also gets to know her teen neighbor, Olive, quite well after she attempts to scare them away, pretending to be the ghost of Hattie, a young mother who was hanged for witchcraft years ago.

But there is something mysterious going on and both Helen and Olive attempt to get to the bottom of it. Helen, out of curiosity and later, duty. For Olive though, her mother walked away from her and her dad without a trace and she believes the stories surrounding Helen’s land has something to do with it.

The Invited was a welcome surprise. It had a little bit of everything and the story was rock solid. Reading it was a nice way to spend a couple of days. I’ve not read this author before but I would absolutely read her again.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.