The Family Upstairs: A Novel

· Sold by Simon and Schuster
80 reviews

About this ebook



“Rich, dark, and intricately twisted, this enthralling whodunit mixes family saga with domestic noir to brilliantly chilling effect.” —Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author

“A haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.
80 reviews
Crystal Knowles
May 28, 2020
Story was well constructed with several interesting plot twists. Great book!
5 people found this review helpful
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Becky Baldridge
November 9, 2019
I realize that I'm in the minority on this one, but The Family Upstairs just didn't do it for me. It's told from three perspectives, which wouldn't be a problem except that one of those perspectives is written in first person while the other two are in third. I understand the reasoning behind it, but that doesn't change the fact that it was a distraction for me. There are a fair amount of characters to keep up with, but they are distinctive enough to keep them sorted in my mind. The problem is that the story gets bogged down in unnecessary mundane details. I can appreciate well-drawn characters and painting a picture to show where they're coming from so the reader can get to know them, but this goes a little too far with that - so far that the three characters the story focuses on start to drift away from the plot at times. This one still could've been an okay story for me, but the more I read, the more I felt like it just didn't live up to its potential. This book had the potential to be an excellent dark and gritty story, but it's stretched to the point of being convoluted, and that was just disappointing.
12 people found this review helpful
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Joelle Egan
November 9, 2019
Those familiar with Lisa Jewell will recognize her penchant for locked doors and secret family connections in her new novel, The Family Upstairs. Jewell has a flair for portraying extreme family dysfunction in a way that carefully treads the line of credulity, given the outrageousness of its complicated plotting. In this book, Libby Jones is Jewell’s main heroine: a strait-laced young woman whose life has been meticulously controlled and planned after a chaotic upbringing by a foster mother who was caring but haphazard. Her organized life is turned upside down, however, when she receives notice that she has reached the age of inheritance from her birth family’s estate. Libby learns that she is now the owner of the mansion where her parents died of mysterious circumstances almost 25 years ago when she was a baby. From the articles she has read, investigators assumed that a suicide pact among cult members was the likeliest explanation, and that there were other children in the house who were never located. She was found abandoned but in good health when the bodies were discovered. What Libby will soon discover is that her acquisition of the house has also spurred others to return to the site with agendas of their own. Jewell slowly unpeels the true events of the deaths in the house through alternating points-of-view from the children who were party to the events. With its many twists and connections, unreliable narrators and biases, The Family Upstairs is an addictive read that compels the reader to willingly swallow largely unbelievable plotlines with relish. The novel could be described as a combination of Flowers in the Attic (by VC Andrews) and Helter Skelter (Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry) or other stories of cults/extreme family-based societies. With an ending that is satisfying but tantalizingly open-ended, Jewell’s latest will provide her fans with some more exciting hours of reading pleasure. Thanks to the author, Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.
5 people found this review helpful
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About the author

Lisa Jewell is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of nineteen novels, including The Family Upstairs and Then She Was Gone, as well as Invisible Girl and Watching You. Her novels have sold over 10 million copies internationally, and her work has also been translated into twenty-nine languages. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK, on Instagram @LisaJewellUK, and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

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