The Wife Upstairs – Rachel Hawkins – “Mouths were good at lying, but eyes usually told the truth.”

We all know that a domestic thriller or any type of thriller is good depending on the plot twists and if you see it coming or not. The more obvious the plot and the twists, the worst the book, but there is a certain appeal on listening to this audiobook. I got so invested, and I couldn’t speed the narration more since I still wanted to grasp every single part of the plot and the characters.

Jane, the protagonist, is so hypocritical and tiring. I do not believe she is the victim in the story, and she is not free of guilt although her “sins” are so nonexistent compared to the ones of the other couple. Jane complains non stop about the people she works with and how they have so much money, and she has nothing since she had to run from her past for something she did that is driving her crazy. However, in the first opportunity, she has to be wealthy, she wants to fit in and be one of those white-rich ladies, so her hate ended up being jealousy, which is normal.

The title of the novel spoils part of the secret and twists of the story. The only twists were the motive and why what happened happened. I read Jane Eyre, for the first time a few months ago, and, although I haven’t finished, I saw all the similarities, and then I realized this is a retelling. These similarities start with how Jane meets with Eddy, the wife in the attic, the telenovela dream of becoming wealthy, the fire, the name (Jane duh). However, The Wife Upstairs lacks the profundity, in-depth meaning, literacy, and early 1800’s gothic vibe of Jane Eyre. I would have added modern gothic elements to the story, a hunting more present besides the tump in the house that resembles the Telling Telling Heart by Poe. The author could have done way more to exploit madness and the hunting of the “supernatural.”

In general, The Wife Upstairs is an easy-to-read story as it lacks complexity. The professional narration keeps the listener engaged, but the narrator cannot save the book to gain a spot in the top 5 thriller books of all time or even of the year.

If you haven’t read or listen to it, then try Audible for free! Judge books by yourself!

the wife upstairs book review

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Originally published on Feb 12, 2017.


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