REVIEW: THE WIFE UPSTAIRS, BY RACHEL HAWKINS

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—-catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

I could not stop turning the pages of The Wife Upstairs, as we follow alternating narrators tell their tales. From Jane, to Bea, to Eddie, they all have secrets and we only begin to see how the pieces fit together at the very end.

There is always another twist to the tale, leaving us wondering: now what?

I really enjoyed Jane, but as I got to know Bea a little, too, I had to admire that special something that kept her landing on her feet. What really happened to Eddie and Bea at the end? Could they still be somewhere, around a corner, waiting to surprise us? Will Jane have her happy ending, or will she also be watching over her shoulder? A brilliant five star read.

***

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