The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Fans of multi-perspective stories and jump back and forth across time.
In a nutshell:
A baby was found well taken-care of in a sparse mansion. Nearby are three adults dead by suicide. 24 years later, that same baby inherits the mansion and wants to know what happened to her parents all those years ago.
N/A Audio book
Why I chose it:
I’d seen this in an airport bookstore a few months back, and then it popped up as a recommendation on audible.
What it left me feeling:
The book is a bit dark for sure – CN for sexual assault (in the book, not my review).
I knew nothing about this book going into it other that what was mentioned on the back cover. The book is told from the perspective of three characters (and the audio version employees three different voice actors for the chapters, which was immensely helpful): Henry, Lucy, and Libby. Libby is a baby who was found abandoned in a Chelsea (London) mansion 24 years ago. Henry and Lucy are connected to this somehow.
The voice actors chosen definitely give life to these characters – Henry sounds (to me) like a bit of a sleazy snob, Lucy sounds like someone who has seen some shit, and Libby sounds innocent and confused. I’m not going to say whether that ends up being accurate, but I think author Jewell does a great job of giving each narrator their own personality and way of speaking and acting.
I can’t share much without spoiling the twists, but I have to say that I made some educated guesses along the way and was wrong most of the time, so either the writing and story construction are quite clever, or I’ve not read enough of this genre to pick up on the clues. Either way, I enjoyed how it unfolded, to the point that I started this book on Saturday and finished up the next day.
In looking up some information about this book, I learned a sequel come out last year, so I’ve already downloaded that and imagine I’ll be reviewing it by the end of the week.
Recommend to a Friend / Keep / Donate it / Toss it: