Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins (audio)

Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins 
Narrator: Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne, Lauren, Fortgang 
Published: January 2021, Macmillan Audio / St. Martin's Press 
Length: 8 hours 40 minutes / 304 pages 
Source: Audio - ALC via Libro.fm / Print - ARC E-copy via Netgalley

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

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?


My thoughts: This is one book that you are going to want to get your hands on...whether you have read Jane Eyre or not. It's being billed as a modern twist of the classic and while I have only read the said classic once, I cannot say how much it really is like it or not, I enjoyed this new one all the same. And I have to say, it does have me wanting to reread Jane Eyre again soon.

This book grabbed me right from the start and never let up. I am a big fan of the domestic suspense drama to begin with and this one definitely delivers on that front and more. I loved how deliciously evil and snarky the characters were and that you really couldn't trust anyone. Every character had their own secrets and the deeper we get into the book, the more twists and turns we take until I wasn't sure where things were headed. Nothing and no one is as they seem and it really keeps you on your toes as you try to work out just what is going on. I love books like this!

I ended up listening to this one in one day - I just could not stop listening. I needed to see where things would end up. Between the multiple points of view, the short chapters and the crazy turns this one took, my head was spinning! It was just the right amount of creepy and kept me engaged throughout. I highly recommend this one!

Audio thoughts: I loved the different narrators for this book. I thought they did a brilliant job and really brought the book to life. I won't mention why there is a need for three narrators as that might spoil things but let's just say, this book really keeps you on your toes, and having three different narrators worked very well. All three narrators were new to me and I enjoyed listening to them. Overall, the pacing of the narration was spot on and each narrator brought just the right emotion and tension into her voice as needed. This was a great audiobook!


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