Lisa Jewell is no stranger to bestseller lists, and with this new chilling novel, “The Family Upstairs,” her bestselling streak will surely continue unabated. This mystery features several narrators, but only Henry, the son of the wealthy Lamb family, is a first person narrator. Libby Jones, the main character, was adopted as a child and finds out when she turns twenty-five that she is the sole heir to a huge mansion in a posh part of London where horrible events took place when she was a baby.
The story unfolds slowly, and the third-person narrations from the points of view of Libby and Lucy, an older woman and the mother of two children, take place in the here and now. The first person narration of Henry explains what happened in the past. And as with all good plots and carefully crafted novels, the bits and pieces of narrative, of stories, of the past and present, all come together into an understanding of what happened. And it’s chilling.
This is not a story for the faint of heart. It features cruelty, abuse, cults, greed, murder, and more. It’s about passion and what can happen when love turns to hate. It’s about how people see what they want to see, often until it’s too late. And it’s about the lengths we will go to in order to protect our loved ones from harm.
Jewell’s brilliant plot and prose will keep readers guessing throughout. Who are the people who populate these pages? What is their relationship to each other? And most of all, what really happened on that dark night twenty-five years ago when two people were found dead and everyone else in the house had disappeared except one baby?
Please note: This review is based on the advance reader’s copy provided by Atria, the publisher, for review purposes.