St. Martin's Press | 5 January 2021 | 304 pgs
Source: Library 

When I first heard that The Wife Upstairs is a Southern Gothic twist on Jane Eyre, I knew I've to read it. 

Jane Bell (not her real name) moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to escape from her past. Having lived by a foster care system, she knew how harsh life could be and with a secret to hide, she changed her identity and become a dog-walker in Thornfield Estates where the rich resides and no one will notice even if she's stolen a few pieces of their jewelry. Jane knew she could never fit into the community of those bored and gossipy housewives, until a chance encounter with Eddie Rochester changes that fate.

Eddie is charming, handsome and a widower. Having lost his wife, Bea, six months ago, Eddie remains a mysterious resident considering he rarely mingle with the others. Surprisingly, Jane and Eddie hit it off rather quickly and in no time, Jane soon catches the attention of the other housewives and gradually becomes part of the group. She then learns a bit more about Bea; that she was a successful retail entrepreneur and she and her other friend, Blanche, were both drowned in a boating accident. Their bodies were never found, and the sad tragedy becomes a memory within the community but Jane is intrigued by Bea and most of all, is curious about her relationship with Eddie and the boating accident as well. As things began to escalate between Jane and Eddie, Jane's curiosity towards Bea also intensifies as it seems Eddie is keeping some secrets of his own. Is Eddie who she thinks he is? Perhaps Bea's death is not accidental as everyone thinks it is? 

This book was a page-turner. The author has a way of writing that pulls you in and never let go and all the characters are intriguing, too. While there're a few elements which are reminiscent of Jane Eyre, this book stands firmly on its own with the writing and tone. The characterisations are well depicted and though most of them aren't likeable, it clearly defines the social class differences and the behaviorism which ensue as a result. I'd mixed feelings towards Jane as on one hand, her situation was pitiable yet on the other hand, she could be despicable in some ways. The suspense was another draw of the story, though the ending could be fairly predictable if you're a regular reader of the suspense genre but still, that didn't diminish my reading pleasure as I mentioned before, the author's writing was engaging. I'll be curious to see what she has in store next. 
© 2021 Melody's Reading Corner (, All Rights Reserved. If you are reading this post from other site(s), please take note that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.
6 Responses
  1. This did hold my interest but, I had a few issues with the story itself.

  2. Melody Says:

    Diane - I know what you mean about having a few issues with the story itself (I know some are far-fetched) but overall it was an addictive read. I really enjoyed the engaging writing style.

  3. Lark Says:

    I'm not sure I'd like this one as much as you did, but I'm glad you enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to starting The Sanatorium on the 15th.

  4. Melody Says:

    Lark - It was an interesting read given the Jane Eyre aspect. I suppose it's a hit-or-miss thing to readers. Yes, I'm looking forward to our buddy read on the 15th!

  5. Iliana Says:

    I've been curious about this one since it came out but it's still on my TBR list. Really glad to hear you enjoyed it and I do plan to get to it one of these days!

  6. Melody Says:

    Iliana - There's a lot of hype surrounding this book and I've to admit I usually have high expectations/anticipation diving into such books and I'm glad to say I didn't wait for too long to read this. :)

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by! I would love to hear from you.