Southern Gothic suspense/thriller

The Wife Upstairs

By: Rachel Hawkins

Rating: 4 of 5

This book is an interesting southern gothic suspense thriller. What it is not is a new take on Jane Eyre. The author uses the names of the main characters and touches on certain plot points of the Bronte classic but it is quite different.

I did not find the characters likable but I don’t think the author intended them to be. They are, however, enmeshed in a story that kept me reading. The first clue that I had this was not Jane Eyre redux was the language and that Jane was a bit of a kleptomaniac.

Jane is really down on her luck having come up through the foster program. She is staying with an unsavory man who she knew previously (but not so early as for him to know her real history.)

Jane is a dog-walker in Thornfield Estates. This is a very rich area in Birmingham, Alabama. She is both captivated and repelled by the individuals who live there and wants to be one of them. Luckily, she meets Eddie.

Eddie lives in the finest homes in the Estates and buys a dog so Jane can walk it. Eddie is also a widower whose wife, Bea, drowned in a lake with her best friend. Problem is, neither of the bodies have ever been found.

We get to know Jane and Bea fairly well. Eddie is shown by how others view him until the very end of the book. Of them all, Bea, was the most interesting to me.

The book was interesting to read and, once I got over comparing it to Jane Eyre, I enjoyed it for the suspense and the plot.

I was provided a digital advance reader copy of this book by the publisher via Netgalley.

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