I’m really lucky in that I often get sent books to review several months before their publication date. I’m usually pretty good and add them to my reading schedule and plan to read them just before the launch date. When The Family Upstairs arrived on my kindle three months early I managed to restrain myself for about a week and then I had to read it straight away. I’ve been desperate to share it with you all for the last two months!
It is Libby’s 25th birthday. She has just been told by a solicitor that she has inherited a large expensive property in Chelsea. She had always known that she was adopted but Libby had no idea who her “real” family were. She soon discovers that the house has a dark history. She was found alone upstairs in a cot and there were three bodies downstairs, presumed to have died in a bizarre cult suicide pact.
The story is told from the perspective of three characters. Libby coming to terms with her new “past”, searching for information about her family and the house. Lucy lives on the street in the south of France. Her existence is solely to try and provide for her kids and keep them away from her abusive ex-husband. When a calendar alert reminds her that “the baby” is now 25 she realises that she has to do anything that she can to get back to Chelsea. Henry is the cool and collected narrator. He lived in the house and knows exactly what happened to the inhabitants and how they ended up in the black robes in the kitchen. He is not always the most reliable voice.
Jewell has always been fantastic at conjuring up fantastically three dimensional characters and making them leap off the page. With her most recent books she has moved more to a darker type of book with a twist and The Family Upstairs has this in spades. Once I started reading it was a real struggle to put it down and go to work! Clear your diary, make yourself comfortable. The Family Upstairs is waiting for you…
Supplied by Net Galley and Random House UK in exchange for an honest review.
Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.