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Book Review #60: The Wife Upstairs

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pages: 290

One word review: Unhurried!

Goodreads: 3.75 [Subjected to change]

Did you know?

The Wife Upstairs is Rachel Hawkins first adult novel.

The Wife Upstairs is a suspense drama novel. The leading characters of the story are two plucky women, almost the entirety of the story narrated from the perspective of one of them - Jane, while the other character - Bertha alias Bea, is brought to life from the accounts of other character's depiction and recollection.

Favorite Lines From Book

But need is not a word people like this think of. Everything with them is want.

Jane, an opportunist, ends up getting a peculiar job, the dog walker, in a luxurious surrounding called Thornfield Estates where the rich folks live in opulent homes and in an extravagant manner. Propitiously, she ends up meeting Edward alias Eddie, another opportunist and an affluent resident in the neighbourhood. They fall in love in an unbelievable fashion and rather sooner than expected. Eddie has been widowed recently when he lost his wife, Bertha alias Bea, to a boat accident in a lake and is believed to be dead because her body was nowhere to be found. Jane, having lived as a drifter and doing odd jobs all her life, running away from her pathetic and horrible past, is grateful and joyful about the new-found life that she has acquired in Thornfield Estates, as the fiancé of Eddie. The story gets interesting when we get to know that there's more to the boat accident and the possibility of Bea being alive is becoming a reality that sinks in on Jane.

The truth is, I don't really like black coffee, but it's always the cheapest thing at any cafe, so it's become a habit.

The title of the book in itself is attractive and promises an interesting plot. I must say it was indeed fulfilling to a majority extent. Except the last few chapters, the story is leisurely narrated in an unhurried fashion. The main character is Jane and most of the chapters are presented from her perspective. Being inside the mind of Jane and what she thinks, was quirky and amusing to read. Having been a dog walker before and struggling to settle down as a lavish estate resident, the new fiancé of Eddie, Jane shows some remarkable characteristics and eccentricity. Jane carries the whole plot on her shoulders until towards the end where other primary character's perspectives are suddenly revealed.

The bottle he selects is over a hundred dollars, and my cheeks flush at knowing I'm worth an expensive bottle of wine to him.

Furthermore, all the main characters have rich and thorough background plots, slowly and gradually revealed over time, enhancing the credibility and attributes to which the readers can relate to. The final chapters, where the well-developed characters meet together, were stirring and shifted the narration to top gear, holding the plot in a thrilling manner. But the complete story resonated to me more as a drama rather than as a thriller.

The cost of the jewellery in this one room is probably the GNP of some small countries. Maybe even some not-so-small ones.

The Wife Upstairs is a fascinating novel that is engaging to read. Certainly, the plot could have been extended and developed elaborately with more captivating chapters, but still it stands out as a compelling story.

Verdict: You never know who's dead or alive!

Watch The Video Review Of This Book on MWM YouTube TV!

MaddiE's Note:

  • If you find any mistakes or need for improvements please comment or reach out to me.


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