Goodread’s Best Myserty/Thriller of 2019 nominee
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ | The Family Upstairs is a masterpiece among psychological thrillers that you will not be able to put down until you reach the last page. You will delight in its twist and turns, as it leaves you utterly and totally gobsmacked.
What I Like About The Family Upstairs
The characters are divinely human and drive the plot. Libby is 25 and just learns about her birth parents and their home. She has inherited the home in a very wealthy district of London and now must decide what to do with it. Lucy is a homeless mother trying desperately to provide food and shelter for her son Marco, age 12, daughter Stella, age 5, and their pet dog. When a notification pops up on her phone, her focus shifts to getting her small family back to England, where she was born. And the last narrator is Henry. He provides the back story of the events that led to the birth of the baby that was found 25 years ago in the house that Libby inherited. All three characters are so complex and well-developed that you can easily imagine their choices outside of the immediate picture the story presents. Having three narrators can prove disorienting at first, but all 3 stories are integral to the conclusion and create an element of suspense that carries you through from the first to the last page.
The narrators are intriguingly unreliable as they tell their version of their story. Since the characters are so complex, so are their versions of their own stories. They tell us what they want us to know, which may or not be the truth as it really happened. This also builds suspense and leads the plot in directions we cannot possibly anticipate.
The plot is like your favorite amusement park ride, full of twists, turns, and sudden stops with a change in direction. And, just like with your favorite amusement park ride, you feel an exhilarated rush when it is over. You will not want to put it down once you start until you see it through to its conclusion.
The ending provides the necessary wrap-up but also is very haunting, as you can see outside the picture presented. Questions are answered, but you are left with an unsettling feeling that more questions have developed at the end of the novel. This psychological play makes the story stand out among other books in the genre and elevates it to the distinction of a masterpiece.
What I Wish About The Family Upstairs
My only wish is that Lisa Jewell keeps writing amazing stories like this one.
To Read or Not to Read The Family Upstairs
It is an excellent book for a book club to delve into and debate the psychology, but all will love its complexities.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
See my “About me” on my site.