Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Audience: Adult Thriller
Release Date: January 5, 2020
A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins’s The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.
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?
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Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books. I was so excited to see this retelling, and I was even more pumped when it was a thriller. I love domestic thrillers very much, and this one has been calling my name since I was approved a few months ago. This was much different because Jane is not who she says she is and has to deal with a terrible past. She is not a good person, she is young and selfish. Jane is more real, and I really liked that aspect.
This is set in Alabama, which I thought was cool. Jane is living with Eddie, whose wife had vanished after an accident. Now Jane is part of the rich ladies group when she had just been walking their dogs. The southern setting was really good, and it was really easy to picture all of the characters the way Hawkins has written them.
The two points of view are Jane and the wife. So you are not sure what is going on or who to trust. I was on edge all the time and was just turning the pages quickly to get the answers I needed so much. I was wondering who this Eddie really was, he is not the same Rochester I love from the book. It left conflicting feelings in my Jane Eyre loving heart.
I liked all the little Jane Eyre hints. They were fun to see and so cleverly done.
This was a great domestic thriller and would love to read more from this author.
Thank you to NetGalley and SMP for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.