Updated: Sep 10, 2021
By Rachel Hawkins
An enjoyable and highly readable thriller
Jane is a broke, twenty-three year-old dog-walker who only recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama. She walks dogs for several families in a high-end neighborhood on the rich side of town. Thornfield Estates’ is a gated community full of McMansions, its a place where the dog walker is nothing more than the hired help. When Jane is in need of money she not above lifting an item or two from her employers. They won’t even notice, she rationalizes.
But when Jane meets the handsome Eddie Rochester he is like a dream come true. Eddie is a recent widower. His deceased wife, Bea, owned her own successful Southern lifestyle company. Unfortunately, she drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies are both lost in the deep lake.
Eddie is rich, handsome and exactly what Jane, who grew up in a foster home, is looking for. Maybe fairy tales really do come true. But can she ever really fit in at Thornfield Estates or measure up to the beautiful and talented Bea? Jane has secrets all her own and they may just be catching up to her.
The Wife Upstairs is an entertaining and highly readable story. Author Rachel Hawkins lures you in with Jane’s intriguing character and her potential relationship with Eddie. Her writing is practiced, well-structured and skillfully crafted.
The Wife Upstairs is marketed as a modern twist of the Jane Eyre classic. I think that is unfortunate and may set the book up for false expectations. It’s really hard for anyone to do justice in comparison to such a classic, and this one doesn't even come close. But that doesn’t mean it's not a good book. It is. It's a quick read with several interesting subplots.
Author Rachel Hawkins is from Dothan, Alabama. She has written several middle grade and young adult novels. She is the author of Rebel Belle and the New York Times bestselling series Hex Hall. She taught high school for three years before becoming full-time writer.
Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. The narration was enjoyable.
Publisher Macmillan Audio
Published January 5, 2021
Narrated Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne, and Lauren Fortgang