Review: The Family Upstairs – Lisa Jewell

My rating: 5/5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

In a huge house in Chelsea a baby is found alive in her cot; fed and cared for, while downstairs 3 adults are found dead with a suicide note.  Just from the description of the book alone there are so many questions.  Who are the adults? How long have they been dead? Who took care of the baby? And let me tell you, reading this only creates more questions.

My thoughts

Without spoiling anything I can tell you this book really is a roller coaster! As soon as I thought I had worked out where the story was going and all my questions were answered, the story took a turn and all my guesses were completely wrong.  I loved the storytelling of Jewell and she really kept me on my toes throughout the book.  The book is filled with unpredictable characters and dishonesty making for a very interesting read.  I loved the element of untrustworthy narration to give the book something else to set it apart from others within its genre.  Words honestly cannot described how gripped I was by this book!

Usually with mystery books the ending either seems bizarre and random or completely predictable, but I can’t stress enough how different this book was from both of these.  Even at the very end the storytelling and plot was so compelling that I wanted it continue.

The characters were Jewell created were so complex and I was completely enthralled in their narrations. The predominant character, Libby, was the least complicated and her narrations were simple, providing for a great contrast between her and the first person narrative of Henry.  Lucy’s perspective at first seems very disjointed from the rest of the novel but it soon becomes clear why her story is so important in piecing together the plot.  The use of all of the narratives provides for the story to be seen from all angles and when all of the questions start to become answered it is very clear that it was a smart choice to have all key players having a voice.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough. Words cannot described how gripped I was by this book, I finished it within the day!  It truly was a twisted story from beginning to end and I wish I could read it for the first time again.  If you are looking for a fast-paced mystery/thriller this one is brilliant and you really won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a suggestion for the next book to add to my bookshelf? Let me know in comments.


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