The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell #bookreview #thriller

Title: The Family Upstairs

Author: Lisa Jewell

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: November 5, 2019

Page Count: 349

My rating: 3 stars

About the book:

From the 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.


Being a fan of Lisa Jewell I had high hopes for her latest psychological thriller The Family Upstairs  but unfortunately this one didn’t turn into a favorite of mine.  The story is one that takes place in multiple timelines and from multiple points of view.

Starting off we have Libby Jones who had just turned twenty five when she receives a letter from a solicitor. Libby had been put up for adoption as a baby and never knew anything about her past so she is hoping this will shed some light on who she was.

Libby finds more than she ever expected when meeting with the solicitor, not only does she now have the names of her birth family but she seems  to have inherited their rundown mansion in Chelsea. However, what happened in that mansion twenty five years ago may have been better left in the past.

I’ve read tons and tons of novels that jump back and forth from characters in the present and in the past and when done well they can become favorites. However with The Family Upstairs I found this story rather confusing in the beginning. It does eventually all connect and make more sense but along with a slow burn plot I didn’t find myself overly invested in this one unfortunately.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Find this book online: 

Goodreads  /   Amazon

About the author:

Lisa Jewell is the internationally bestselling author of seventeen novels, including the New York Times bestseller Then She Was Gone and the UK instant Sunday Times Number 1 bestseller The Family Upstairs, as well as other much loved novels such as Watching You, I Found You, The Girls in the Garden, and The House We Grew Up In. In total, her novels have sold more than two million copies across the English-speaking world and her work has also been translated into over twenty five languages. Lisa lives in London with her husband and their two daughters. Connect with her on Twitter @LisaJewellUK and on Facebook @LisaJewellOfficial.

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