Title- The Wife Upstairs
Author- Rachel Hawkins
Genre- suspense/mild thriller
POV- changes throughout. See below
Cover– Loved the cover. Knew the genre easily and it is pretty enough to display
My emotions- waiting for something “bigger”
Possible spoilers in this section:
The Wife Upstairs started out simplistic. Just a bit of info, clear writing with dabs of suspense, quickly growing with increased questions around each corner of Eddie’s house & this rich neighborhood
I had fun wondering which main character I needed to be worried about for the creep factor. None of the characters were likeable for me which was intriguing.
The “Stepford wives” feel in this upper class neighborhood was nauseating and a trigger for me, but it was written well. Part II was a bit confusing since there was both first person Bea and third person Bea back to back. Part II was also abrupt and I wish I found out that information in a more suspenseful and exciting way.
When Jane was trying to fit in with “The Real Housewives” that part was a bit slow and boring. Halfway through I was unsure if Jane’s biggest goal is to fit in, or steal something from them, or revenge on the “rich” or something else entirely… I loved the ominous Edgar Allen Poe reference.
I wanted more in depth thoughts and also any escape plans from Bea. I felt like there were missed opportunities to dive into her dilemma. Between chapter 36 and 37 skipped all the good stuff. The twist was good but I didn’t gasp. I wanted to gasp yet the overall ending was satisfying.
I wasn’t a fan of any of the characters. None of them were likeable for me or relatable.
Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.
But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.
Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?
With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?
Best part- vibe of the “Real Housewives” was done well
What I’d change- more powerful climax scene
Pacing- medium to fast