Book Review Wednesday: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

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The more I read books in the thriller/mystery genre, the more I'm starting to notice and be drawn to certain authors. Lisa Jewell is one of those authors and I was so excited to be able to read her latest novel, "The Family Upstairs" before it was released. *Thank you Netgalley!

I've read "Girls in the Garden", "Watching You" and "Then She Was Gone" but so many others are on my wishlist!

"The Family Upstairs" will be released on November 5th and it was by far one of the weirdest, most twisted books I've ever read.




*Does anyone know WHY there are so many different covers for Lisa Jewell novels? It is very confusing and I need to know why.

Publisher's Summary

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported living at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

My Thoughts

Cults have been very popular lately. With the rise of true crime, I've learned more about cults from Jonestown to the Manson Family. Then there's Scientology (which is definitely a cult) and the NXIVM sex cult that imploded last year; cults have been weaved into a few of my favorite TV shows like Riverdale and General Hospital, so you could say they are very hot in the streets.

That being said... at its core, "The Family Upstairs" is about a cult. The family who originally lived at 16 Cheyne Walk allows themselves to get roped into a weird cult, run by a man, who takes over the home and basically holds everyone hostage. It's a really twisted, disgusting story and you're constantly rooting for something to break the cult apart.

Before we understand what's happening in the past with the 16 Cheyne Walk family, we meet Libby who inherits this gorgeous, huge home. It's the home where she was found as a baby, in her crib, with adults dead downstairs and no one else around.

That in itself was enough to grab my attention and I was soon down the rabbit hole, addicted to the story and trying to figure out what exactly happened.

It seems to be a must-have in writing these days to go back and forth between past and present. It's very hard to remember a time where this wasn't the norm. "The Family Upstairs" also used that writing device; it went back and forth between Libby's present POV and the past's Henry... later on, Lucy.

We see how their stories came to meet in the middle, how Henry handled his parents forcing him to join a cult and letting these strange people intertwine themselves into their lives. Henry's family lost everything and we see the slow, horrific process of it. Eventually, you begin to understand everything that happened, why it happened, and who exactly it happened to.

"The Family Upstairs" wasn't scary... it was just plain creepy. It gave me similar vibes to "The Roanoke Girls"... super weird, super creepy and very interesting.

The book was a bit slow to start and a little hard to follow, especially from Henry's point of view but once you understand what's happening, you become highly invested. It was a wild ride and one that you will love to be on. 

If you love creepy, you will love "The Family Upstairs".

xoxo
B

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