The Family Upstairs
From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone and Watching You 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.

The Family Upstairs Details

TitleThe Family Upstairs
Author
ReleaseNov 5th, 2019
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN-139781501190100
Rating
GenreThriller, Mystery, Fiction, Mystery Thriller

The Family Upstairs Review

  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 10 hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good. We're ordering pizza tonight. Sorry, not sorry.Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little while because p 432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 10 hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good. We're ordering pizza tonight. Sorry, not sorry.Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little while because pretty soon? Bang, like jello, it all gels together and the tension ramps and ramps and ramps. I could...not....put....it....down.I'll let everyone else describe it; just read it!Thank you to Lisa Jewel, Atria Books, and NetGalley for giving me this digital ARC (I received a widget!!) in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    "It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did. We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend.""It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did. We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend."Gather round children, and lend an ear. If you are on the gothic psychological suspense train, and you're looking for something to read in the same vein as Ruth Ware or V.C. Andrews, then this is your stop. The Family Upstairs is unsettling, atmospheric, and dare I say a tad bit taboo? 😏 I find those three traits to be the trifecta of a devilishly chilling read, and if you're like me, this needs to be on your must read list.The reader determines quickly that the narrative is structured through three different points of view, although we aren't told how they correlate until later in the story, and this works extremely well here. I honestly don't think the story would have been quite the same if any minor tweaking had been done to the particular perspectives we are privy to, as we get just enough information into the past and present to answer all the major questions, while also allowing the reader to use their imagination to fill in some minor blanks as well. If you're the type of person who doesn't like an open-ended story, but also isn't a fan of the neat and tidy package upon conclusion, you'll appreciate what Jewell has done with this story.I'm aware it's already been mentioned above, but I can't emphasize enough what a delight it was to read a story that felt like a modern day V.C. Andrews novel. Obviously the similarities in dysfunctional family dynamics and suffocating atmosphere of the gothic tone are clear, but there are so many minor easter eggs that felt a tribute to that unique style of storytelling. The overall vibe of this one feels much darker than Lisa's previous novels, but I think she's taken a leap of faith in good conscience and found that she writes just as well in this genre as she does in domestic suspense and women's fiction. Yes, yes, I've kept this review vague, spoiler free, and frustratingly neutral in tone, but that's only because I'd like for you to have the chance to read this book for yourself without any influence from my thoughts. If you're a fan of the author's previous novels, you definitely need to read this. If you're new to her work, this is a GREAT piece to start with. The characters are wonderfully flawed, the story is unpredictable, and the unsettling nature of the content inside is sure to chill even the most experienced reader of psychological thrillers. Highly recommended! *Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy!
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  • Maureen
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine inheriting an eight bedroom property in London’s SW3 - in the heart of Chelsea - it’s an area of multi million pound homes - well let’s face it, you’d be over the moon to say the least. This wonderful inheritance is Libby Jones 25th birthday present, but the house (or mansion to be precise) is pretty dilapidated, and it has a very sinister past too.Told from the points of view of Libby, Lucy, and Henry, in both the past and present, this compelling family drama begins with th Imagine inheriting an eight bedroom property in London’s SW3 - in the heart of Chelsea - it’s an area of multi million pound homes - well let’s face it, you’d be over the moon to say the least. This wonderful inheritance is Libby Jones 25th birthday present, but the house (or mansion to be precise) is pretty dilapidated, and it has a very sinister past too.Told from the points of view of Libby, Lucy, and Henry, in both the past and present, this compelling family drama begins with the previous owners of the house. The Lamb’s are a wealthy couple with two children, Henry and Lucy. After allowing a charismatic stranger named David and his family to move into their home, their lives will be turned completely upside down, because David isn’t nearly as charming as he appears to be. He’s definitely a Svengali figure and will soon have the family under his spell, all except for Henry - he isn’t falling for David’s charms, not one little bit!A disturbing, chilling and complex narrative results in many mysteries, as the three narrators stories begin to thread together, bringing us ever closer to the main mystery - that of what happened to the previous inhabitants of this Chelsea mansion.* Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK Cornerstone for my ARC for which I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
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  • Meredith
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThe Family Upstairs is a compulsively readable psychological thriller that features multiple storylines, three POV’s, an unreliable narrator, a sociopath, several mysteries, many murders, a crazy cult, a sick obsession, and much more! Needless to say, there’s a whole lot going on. When Libby, who was adopted when she was a baby, discovers that she will inherit a mansion on her 25th birthday, she is stunned. She wants to know more about her birth parents and why she is the sole he/>The 3.5 starsThe Family Upstairs is a compulsively readable psychological thriller that features multiple storylines, three POV’s, an unreliable narrator, a sociopath, several mysteries, many murders, a crazy cult, a sick obsession, and much more! Needless to say, there’s a whole lot going on. When Libby, who was adopted when she was a baby, discovers that she will inherit a mansion on her 25th birthday, she is stunned. She wants to know more about her birth parents and why she is the sole heir to a large fortune. She begins to investigate, and with the help of a reporter, she soon finds she might not want to know where she came from after all.Henry, a child who grew up in the mansion, shares the story of his family’s riches to rags story.Lucy, a single mom of two, living in France is homeless and desperate to put a roof over her children’s heads. When she receives a calendar reminder that the baby has turned 25, she stops at nothing to return to the home from which she fled.I enjoyed the first ¾ of this book. It’s fast-paced, easy to read--I couldn’t put it down. I was taken in by all three narrators and was eager to find out all of their secrets. However, I reached a point when it just turned chaotic and crazy. In addition to trying to cover too much and do too much, The Family Upstairs was trying to be too many genres in one--family drama vs. mystery vs. twisted thriller, which took me out of the story and had me shaking my head. The last few pages were eye-roll worthy--I just wasn’t buying Henry’s character. In no way is this book bad, I was just expecting more in the end. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Paromjit
    January 1, 1970
    Lisa Jewell ventures into horror infested psychological thriller territory in this disturbing and unsettling novel. 25 years ago in Chelsea, London, the police enter 16 Cheyne Walk, the mansion of the wealthy Lambs, the home of the famous Martina, wife, model and mother, with her young children, Henry and Lucy. What they discover is the dead, decomposing bodies of the Lamb parents, and that of another mystery man, with a note that suggests a cult suicide, but strangely they find a 10 month old b Lisa Jewell ventures into horror infested psychological thriller territory in this disturbing and unsettling novel. 25 years ago in Chelsea, London, the police enter 16 Cheyne Walk, the mansion of the wealthy Lambs, the home of the famous Martina, wife, model and mother, with her young children, Henry and Lucy. What they discover is the dead, decomposing bodies of the Lamb parents, and that of another mystery man, with a note that suggests a cult suicide, but strangely they find a 10 month old baby alive and well cared for, Serenity Lamb, who is later to be adopted. There were rumours of other children residing at the place but no trace of them has ever been uncovered. In the present, it is Libby Jones 25th birthday, her ordinary life of working in sales of designer kitchens, living under tight financial straits in her small flat, is to be rocked when out of the blue she learns she is the sole inheritor of a large Chelsea mansion, she has become an extremely rich young woman.When she visits the house with the solicitor, she finds it in a dilapidated condition with a creepy atmosphere as she learns of what happened there 25 years ago. She becomes more afraid when she hears the sounds of someone upstairs and leaves the place abruptly, determined to discover all she can about what happened there. Libby is aided by her work colleague, Dido, and journalist, Miller Roe whose life was destroyed by his obsession with the story. In the South of France in Nice, an impoverished single mother is living hand to mouth with her two children from different fathers, Marco and Stella. She busks as a fiddle player, worn out by the life she lives, which includes periods of homelessness but she is now keen to take her family to London. In the past, a young Henry with his strong sense of entitlement is to find his future and that of his family shockingly derailed when his mother invites a pop star, Birdie Dunlop-Evers, and David Thomsen, with his family, wife, Sally, and their children, Clemency and Phin to live in their home temporarily, only for them to end up staying permanently. Thomsen, the usurper, is authoritarian, cruel, and manipulative as he tightens his hold on the household as the lives of those who reside there descend into horror and a nightmarish hell.Jewell writes a gripping and compulsive novel in which a menacing insanity takes hold of the lives of the children in Cheyne Walk, culminating in their broken and traumatised, emotionally damaged psyches. Libby is to find her life changed forever as she learns of the secret family histories of her newly inherited mansion. This is the most twisted and darkest of books, as revelation after revelation unfolds, which makes for an uncomfortable but never less than a compelling reading experience. Many thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC.
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  • Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars.This book was very confusing too me so I am just going to use the blurb as the plot. I thought it was written well. 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 als 2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars.This book was very confusing too me so I am just going to use the blurb as the plot. I thought it was written well. 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. This one has a slow burn in the beginning and it was so confusing but it eventually made sense. It is told in three points of view, Libby's, Henry's and Lucy's. It also has two different timelines. There are also lots of characters in it so at times it was hard for me to keep track of all of them. When I read a book I don't like to be confused. I like to know what's going on and it takes awhile to know what's going on.I was not expecting to not liking this one. I did enjoy some parts. I love Lisa Jewell and I loved every book she has written so this was a disappointment. I can't believe I am saying this, but this one was too dark and disturbing for me. This book was very very dark. It is not for every one. I have never read a book that was too disturbing and dark until I read this one. It has lots of triggers which I will put down all of them at the end of the review. I felt like a different author wrote this book. There were some parts that I enjoyed. I did enjoy the ending. I still can't wait for the next Lisa Jewell book. This is the only book of hers, that was a disappointment to me. The other books I read by her, I loved so much. I am in the minority of this one so I suggest to look at all the other 4 and 5 star reviews. This one just might be the book for you. Lots of others loved this book.Trigger warnings: If you have a trigger this book has it. Rape, child abuse, animal cruelty, suicide and incest.Available NowI want to thank Netgalley, Atria Books, and Lisa Jewell for the widget of this book.
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author which I have previously read were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the character This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author which I have previously read were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the characters straight!The blurb for this book is not very explanatory, as the family that descends upon this house doesn’t live upstairs but virtually invades the entire house, upending all of the characters lives and futures and wrecking havoc on the family living there.The story is told from three points of view, the first we are introduced to is Libby. Libby has just turned 25, she is single and working at a company that sells kitchens to mostly wealthy clients who need her expert advice. She makes a living wage but not much more. She always knew that she had been an orphan, adopted when she was a young baby, and has been waiting for a letter to come from the solicitors in England to tell her what her family name is and a little bit about them. What she finds out instead is that she has now inherited a mansion in an upscale part of Chelsea, England, and need only come to the law offices to claim the house. Even in a run down condition she knows the house will be worth many thousands of pounds. Henry narrates a large portion of the story. He was the son of the original family who owned the house in Chelsea. We will see many sides of Henry, the good, the sad and the unbelievable. He had to watch while his home and family were turned upside down and their lifestyle completely changed when David Thomson and his family come to stay, for a very long time!Lucy’s point of view is interesting, she is a now single mother of two, Marco and Sally and has been living most of her life from the money she makes playing her fiddle. She is extremely down and out when we join her in the story. She gets the message on her phone “the baby is 25” just when she had no idea how she was going to continue to provide for her children. She heads to England to rejoin her siblings and the now grown baby who will inherit the family home.This is such a confusing story with so many characters that I’m not going to get into any of the plot. Suffice it to say that it is multi-layered, hard to keep straight and hard to believe. It was only the closing chapters that really set straight what the heck was going on in the novel. For this story to have occurred it would have been necessary for the family, friends and neighbors of the Lamb family to have done nothing to try to find out what was going on in this house for 5 years. The children were taken out of school and eventually none of them were allowed to leave the house. I just kept saying to myself “come on, someone would have noticed something was up here”. I don’t think I can recommend this book to anyone but I will continue to be a huge fan of this author, this book just wasn’t right for me. There are other 5* reviews out there so read a variety of them! I would like to tell my readers that this book does include animal cruelty, incest, child abuse and rape. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. The book is set to publish November 5, 2019.
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  • Kaceey
    January 1, 1970
    Well, it looks as though I may be in the minority on this one!Libby is shocked after being notified she’s just inherited a massive house. One that comes with a mysterious and tragic history. Libby was found abandoned as a baby in this home. Having been adopted, Libby has since blossomed into a 25 year old, well-adjusted, content young lady. Anxious to keep her life moving along on the timetable she’s set for herself. Well, Miss Libby...this new inheritance thing may just change up your original life pl Well, it looks as though I may be in the minority on this one!Libby is shocked after being notified she’s just inherited a massive house. One that comes with a mysterious and tragic history. Libby was found abandoned as a baby in this home. Having been adopted, Libby has since blossomed into a 25 year old, well-adjusted, content young lady. Anxious to keep her life moving along on the timetable she’s set for herself. Well, Miss Libby...this new inheritance thing may just change up your original life plan. Maybe there’s a great deal more to discover here than just an old house.Told from several POV and timelines. From the start I had difficulty keeping it all straight, never coming together as much as I hoped.I’ve been reading all of Lisa Jewels books and always look forward to their release every year, but I have to say this might be my least favorite.But…I’m still a committed Lisa Jewell fan and anxiously await her next release!A buddy read with Susanne!🌸Thank you to Ariele Friedman at Atria Books via NetGalley and Lisa Jewel for an ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Nilufer Ozmekik
    January 1, 1970
    3.25 confused, restless, is it fair enough to give lower points because you’re die-hard fan of Lisa Jewell fan question flying over my head, creepy, oh those guests should urgently get the hell out of the house stars! Personally, honestly, I love this author’s work starting from “Watching you”, “Then she was gone”, “I found you”. She is the master evil queen of thrillers taken place in creepy houses and the characters formed in dysfunctional families who have unresolved issues. So 3.25 confused, restless, is it fair enough to give lower points because you’re die-hard fan of Lisa Jewell fan question flying over my head, creepy, oh those guests should urgently get the hell out of the house stars! Personally, honestly, I love this author’s work starting from “Watching you”, “Then she was gone”, “I found you”. She is the master evil queen of thrillers taken place in creepy houses and the characters formed in dysfunctional families who have unresolved issues. So this book is one of them. I enjoyed the prologue. I felt all the goose-bumps on my arm, sweat dripping down my forearm, shivered uncontrollably. My intellectual appetite increased and my level of curiosity hit to the top. Plot was intriguing: Unwanted and never-leaving guests occupied house and their numbers increased every day till they completely turned into an ominous, cursed and chilling cult, whose members wear ugly shapeless black clothes, chose organic style diet by famishing children. And we met David and Birdie, they’re one of the creepiest couples as like Natural Born Killer’s “Mickey and Mallory”, or any adopted children of Woody Allen and him. Those parts of the book about Henry, who is probably younger version of Dexter, undiscovered sociopath who hides his unconditional love for Phin, captured my attention. His mother who is about to lose the rest of her marbles, his passive and obedient, weak father and his sister who is suffering from puberty crisis and uncontrollable occupation of CREEPY GUESTS who became THE REAL OWNERS of the house were remarkable and well-rounded characters. The thing I didn’t like and found confusing is way of 3 POV-ed story telling. I got the writer’s motive to put a bridge between past and future and connect three main characters’ stories, mash them in harmony. But the parts are too detailed and you started to feel like you’re drifting apart the main story, the creepy, disturbing guest part and dive into too many details about the other characters’ lives. There are so much enough materials on this book to write two other ones. Till we reach the encounter of characters and combination part of their stories we may already solve their mystery. Being two steps ahead of the writer doesn’t make me happy! So I wished we only read about the house’s past, rising of cult, Henry’s searching about paganism and his slow but expected move to the dark side. We already have David and Birdie to be shaken to the core. The ending of the book was nice touch made me give extra 0.25 stars but I still expected more from this writer and as soon as I saw this book on my dashboard and screamed ( not for seeing my morning self in the mirror, for finding out NetGalley provided me the book, it was one of the happy and joyous screams) and the beginning excited me but the pacing got slower in the middle. It was still good written, detailed, riveting book. Lisa Jewell is one of the best story tellers I’ve ever seen and as a hopeless fan, I will keep happy screaming before starting her upcoming books. But this time, this book didn’t work so much for me!Special thanks to Atria Books and Netgalley to send me this ARC COPY and lighten up my day in exchange my honest review.
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  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 STARS Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors!  I have read all of her thrillers and my expectations were so high for her newest (possibly too high).  I love how she writes, builds tension, and weaves a story.Her books are so easy to read and fall into. This one did seem a bit too long though and I was beginning to tire of the complex plot. It focuses on a highly dysfunctional family and there are a lot of characters to sort out.  It took some time before I was able to make all the connections, b(possibly/> 3.5 STARS Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors!  I have read all of her thrillers and my expectations were so high for her newest (possibly too high).  I love how she writes, builds tension, and weaves a story.Her books are so easy to read and fall into. This one did seem a bit too long though and I was beginning to tire of the complex plot. It focuses on a highly dysfunctional family and there are a lot of characters to sort out.  It took some time before I was able to make all the connections, but it played out nicely.The family runs a cult-like home (or rather mansion) and what happens there comes into play later on....The two timelines (past/present) will collide into a dark tale of  this is what really happened.... There are surprising twists, but this one was missing the page-turning magic that I loved in her previous novels. It is still a solid and entertaining read.This one is out August 8, 2018
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  • Susanne Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3 Stars.Creepy and Disturbing. Par for the Course with Lisa Jewell, Right?! The Past: Houseguests. They are never pleasant. Unless they are temporary. For a family living in a mansion in Chelsea, a ringing of the doorbell signals a whole host of changes that influences their entire lives, forever. Call it dark, eerie and downright strange.The Present: On Libby Jones’ twenty-fifth birthday, she inherits a house. Not just any house, a mansion in Chelsea. Though dilapidated and vacant, it/>Creepy 3 Stars.Creepy and Disturbing. Par for the Course with Lisa Jewell, Right?! The Past: Houseguests. They are never pleasant. Unless they are temporary. For a family living in a mansion in Chelsea, a ringing of the doorbell signals a whole host of changes that influences their entire lives, forever. Call it dark, eerie and downright strange.The Present: On Libby Jones’ twenty-fifth birthday, she inherits a house. Not just any house, a mansion in Chelsea. Though dilapidated and vacant, it is a total windfall for someone like Libby who has always lived paycheck to paycheck. When she visits her new “home” she discovers something frightening and begins digging into its history. What she finds is unlike anything she ever imagined.Lisa Jewell’s “The Family Upstairs” is a novel told in different timelines, containing lots of characters to keep track of. Once you get going, the storyline flows and you become enmeshed in the mystery of the mansion and the ominous feeling of the story. While this wasn’t my favorite of Ms. Jewell’s novels simply because I felt like it was lacking something, it was a super quick read, which I tore through in a just a few hours. Another buddy read with Kaceey!Thank you to NetGalley, Ariele Friedman at Atria and Lisa Jewell for an arc of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Published on NetGalley and Goodreads on 6.10.19.Will be published on Amazon on 10.29.19.
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  • Aga Durka
    January 1, 1970
    I love Lisa Jewell’s books, I read them all, and I recommend them to anyone that will listen. The Family Upstairs is another great book and I am so happy I got to read it over the weekend because otherwise I would have to call in sick to work...I just could not stop reading. I was fully engrossed in the story and there was no way I was able to do any real life chores.A well-written story with Lisa Jewell’s unique style. It is creepy, disturbing, atmospheric, and it kept me guessing till th I love Lisa Jewell’s books, I read them all, and I recommend them to anyone that will listen. The Family Upstairs is another great book and I am so happy I got to read it over the weekend because otherwise I would have to call in sick to work...I just could not stop reading. I was fully engrossed in the story and there was no way I was able to do any real life chores.A well-written story with Lisa Jewell’s unique style. It is creepy, disturbing, atmospheric, and it kept me guessing till the end. Loved it!!! Thank you NetGalley, Atria Books, and the author for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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  • Jasmine from How Useful It Is
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a great read! Definitely different. I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or fascinated by it all. I’m annoyed that the owner of the house lose control so easily yet I’m fascinated how people are good at manipulating other people into doing things they don’t normally do. I enjoyed reading Lucy’s life with her children but not so much with her memory of Michael. Her memory reminds me of the book Behind Closed Doors, though I rather action instead of mostly recollection. I like Libby’s invest This book is a great read! Definitely different. I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or fascinated by it all. I’m annoyed that the owner of the house lose control so easily yet I’m fascinated how people are good at manipulating other people into doing things they don’t normally do. I enjoyed reading Lucy’s life with her children but not so much with her memory of Michael. Her memory reminds me of the book Behind Closed Doors, though I rather action instead of mostly recollection. I like Libby’s investigation into her past with the journalist. Henry’s recount of his childhood is full of suspense. I couldn’t read it fast enough to unravel the mystery.This book is told in the third person point of view following Libby, 25, as she receives a letter from a solicitor. The second view is Lucy, nearly 40. She’s stopped to eat with her son Marco, 12, daughter Stella, 5, and the dog. They are currently homeless. The third view is Henry, 41. He recounted his life with his family when he was nearly 11. His view is of the past while Libby and Lucy’s view are of the present. Libby inherits the house and discovers that she has a mysterious past. This book is divided into 4 parts.The Family Upstairs is well written but I can’t help how annoying the whole situation was. The teenagers, especially Phin and Henry. They know the secret passage out of the house. They have many chances to leave the house if they wanted to but instead they choose to stay and endure. Henry especially has a way out with Justin but he didn’t take it. I’m also disappoint that Sally is so weak and couldn’t save her kids. As much annoyed as I feel, the story is still a page turner because I enjoy Libby’s investigation into her mysterious past. I like Lucy’s clever son Marco. I was able to guess about the baby but I like the surprise twists on the baby’s true biological parents. This book is still an interesting read and I do recommend everyone to read it.Pro: fast paced, page turner, mysterious house, suspense, mysterious past,Con: weak boy characters, memory of behind closed doors rather than actionI rate it 4 stars!***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.xoxo,Jasmine at www.howusefulitis.wordpress.com for more details
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  • Dem
    January 1, 1970
    Forgettable and Disappointing read that started with great promise but became bogged down with too many characters and a story that went around in circles I started out really enjoying this book as I was intrigued by premise;Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones receives the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with the excitement of what it contains about her past " I am finally going to know who I am"She soon learns not only the identity of her birth pare/>Soon Forgettable and Disappointing read that started with great promise but became bogged down with too many characters and a story that went around in circles I started out really enjoying this book as I was intrigued by premise;Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones receives the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with the excitement of what it contains about her past " 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 neighbourhood, worth millions. Libby's life is about to change forever.Told from three of the characters point of view which really was quite confusing and tedious, The story dragged and became while not graphic in content, unpleasant reading and really wasn't a book I enjoyed picking up and while I finished it, I did struggle to the end.I thought the characters were poorly fleshed out and their actions never felt convincing or believable to me. The whole story felt rather bizarre and rushed and while it had been described as "suspenseful" "atmospheric" and "haunting" it was lacking on all those elements for me. An ok read but certainly not one I remember a year from now.
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  • PamG
    January 1, 1970
    THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell is told from the point of view of three characters: Libby, Henry and Lucy as well as two time periods. Libby Jones has turned twenty-five and receives a letter that tells her the identity of her birth parents and that she has inherited their old mansion in a ritzy area of London.The plot is set mainly in England and France. Twenty-five years ago, the police found a baby and three dead adults in the mansion. The other people that lived there are gone, includ THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell is told from the point of view of three characters: Libby, Henry and Lucy as well as two time periods. Libby Jones has turned twenty-five and receives a letter that tells her the identity of her birth parents and that she has inherited their old mansion in a ritzy area of London.The plot is set mainly in England and France. Twenty-five years ago, the police found a baby and three dead adults in the mansion. The other people that lived there are gone, including several children. Was it suicide, murder or a combination of both? Where are the other people that lived in the house? What was really happening in this mansion?The plot is clever and shocking, but it does switch POV and timelines throughout the book. Despite this not being my favorite style of writing, it is a tribute to Jewell’s talent that I still felt it deserved 4 stars. The story is dark, twisted and disturbing as well as being a page-turner. The characters are complex with more depth to them that most authors can inject in a trilogy.While this is the first book I have read by Jewell, I look forward to reading more of her novels.Many thanks to Atria Books, Lisa Jewell and Net Galley for a digital ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell was one of my favorites so far this year. I've read several of her other books, and for me, this one is the best yet. I devoured the book in two chunks, one larger read in the afternoon and the other shortly before bed. I couldn't fall asleep for at least an hour as my mind continued to process everything that had happened in the complicated and messy (in a good way) tale.There are 3 main voices in the novel: Lucy, a runaway/homeless mother of two; The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell was one of my favorites so far this year. I've read several of her other books, and for me, this one is the best yet. I devoured the book in two chunks, one larger read in the afternoon and the other shortly before bed. I couldn't fall asleep for at least an hour as my mind continued to process everything that had happened in the complicated and messy (in a good way) tale.There are 3 main voices in the novel: Lucy, a runaway/homeless mother of two; Henry, the son of a former rich couple who fell for a scam; and Libby, a 25-year-old girl who inherits a house from the biological parents who committed suicide nearly a year after she was born. As the stories unravel, we begin to understand some of the connections between the three protagonists; however, in true Jewell fashion, what you know is not quite what you know. The lines are blurry, the connections are misleading, and the identities often change. If you just look at the shell of this book, Libby is a sweet and wonderful girl in search of the truth, Henry is quirky and possibly a little crazy, and Lucy is either truly down on her luck or causes her own pain time and time again.That's only the beginning. Lucy acts the way she does because of what happened to her as a child. We don't know all the details, but it's easy to judge her in the beginning. While I still think she should've been partially punished for some of her actions, all-in-all, she definitely suffered more than any human should. Libby is 100% faultless... and she's the kind of girl I'd like to be friends with (before or after the money, in case you were wondering!). Henry... well... that's complicated. Sometimes, he seems very attractive. Others, I think he might try to kill people because his brain is just a little different than the rest of ours. Was he a victim of his circumstances? Was he properly punished? Do we truly know the whole story, or only the parts he wanted to share with us?This was the kind of book that leaves you puzzled in a good way. There is a lot left to a reader to decide. Jewell has written a defined ending, and we know what happens to everyone, but... there's some doubt as to which version of the truth we want to believe. The relationships between Phineas, Lucy, Henry, Finn's sister, the various moms and dads living in their lives, and the people they meet along the way are dark and deceptive. It's a perfectly complex family drama that really hit the sweet spot for me.Of course, there were a few areas I wasn't 100% thrilled with, e.g. where did Julian go? why did Henry Sr. have so many strokes? how did no one discover the murders going on? I can suspend that bit of disbelief, but overall, it was inconsequential to the whole of the story for me. The writing style and tone are superb, thus I can only trim away a partial star. 4.5 from me... and I'll definitely be reading more of the author's novels in the future.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Eleven year old Henry Lamb and his younger sister live in a beautiful Chelsea mansion with their wealthy and glamorous parents. His life is full of treats and outings and top private schools. But one day his mother invites a young woman to stay for a few days and slowly things start to change until Henry's world is one he no longer recognises. It will all end badly as the police discover when they break into the house to find three dead adults and a baby alone in her cot. Older children were rum Eleven year old Henry Lamb and his younger sister live in a beautiful Chelsea mansion with their wealthy and glamorous parents. His life is full of treats and outings and top private schools. But one day his mother invites a young woman to stay for a few days and slowly things start to change until Henry's world is one he no longer recognises. It will all end badly as the police discover when they break into the house to find three dead adults and a baby alone in her cot. Older children were rumoured to have been in the house, but there is no sign of them and they were never found.This is more domestic noir than a thriller but makes for suspenseful and compelling reading. The novel is told from two main points of view. One of these is a young woman called Libby, adopted as a baby, who discovers she has inherited a mansion in Chelsea on her twenty fifth birthday. Henry's voice is used to relate what happened all those years ago in the past to turn his life into a nightmare.This is a dark and engrossing tale of madness and delusion where the tension ramps up to breaking point. The pacing of the novel is good and there are surprises in store as the mystery of what happened in that house and to the children in the aftermath gradually unfurls. 4.5★With thanks to Netgalley and Random House for an advanced copy of the book to read
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  • Marialyce
    January 1, 1970
    Yes, indeed a Lisa Jewell book is one that I am always drawn to for they always possess intrigue and mystery and with the right amount of scare factor. So I was over the top happy when I received an advanced copy of Ms Jewell's newest outing. Ms Jewell has again embarked on the creepy trial of a family taken under the spell of a charismatic (we are told) man and his small entourage. As the story begins we find ourselves deep into the mystery involving three decomposing bodies and the ten month Yes, indeed a Lisa Jewell book is one that I am always drawn to for they always possess intrigue and mystery and with the right amount of scare factor. So I was over the top happy when I received an advanced copy of Ms Jewell's newest outing. Ms Jewell has again embarked on the creepy trial of a family taken under the spell of a charismatic (we are told) man and his small entourage. As the story begins we find ourselves deep into the mystery involving three decomposing bodies and the ten month baby girl left among the carnage.Twenty five years later, the baby girl, Serenity Lamb, has grown up finding herself to be the inheritor of the family home where the three deaths had taken place. Will she finally find her lost siblings and how will they react to her being the sole inheritor of the family home? The story switches time periods back and forth as we meet the other children, Lucy and Henry, their parents, and Birdie Dunlop-Evers, David Thomsen, his family, wife, Sally, and their children, Clemency and Phin. They are invited by Martina Lamb to spend some time at 16 Cheyne Walk, the mansion that the family owns. That time becomes longer and longer as David insidiously takes over the running of the home imposing tyrannical happenings on the residents. However, he has woven a spell around Martina, and she will do anything to please David. Bizarre things happen and everyone suffers and as Henry, the young son of Martina, emerges in sequential chapters we see the devastation this life has upon him. However, there is much more to Henry and we learn he is definitely hiding a false exterior, for his interior is quite a bit darker than we are initially led to believe.Honestly, I love Lisa Jewell's books. I have found I zip through them and think wow that was so good. However, I had some difficulty with this tale. For one, I found it to be at times confusing. I found the character of David to be underdeveloped. It was never fully explained what or how he held such power over the people, particularly the women in this story. The switch between the time periods was often abrupt, making me stop and try to figure where are we now. So color me a bit disappointed in this book. Thank you to Lisa Jewell, Atria Books, and NetGalley for a copy of this story to be released in November of this year.
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  • Dorie - Cats&Books :)
    January 1, 1970
    This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the characters straight!The bl This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the characters straight!The blurb for this book is not very explanatory, as the family that descends upon this house doesn’t live upstairs but virtually invades the entire house, upending all of the characters lives and futures and wrecking havoc on the family living there.The story is told from three points of view, the first we are introduced to is Libby. Libby has just turned 25, she is single and working at a company that sells kitchens to mostly wealthy clients who need her expert advice. She makes a living wage but not much more. She always knew that she had been an orphan, adopted when she was a young baby, and has been waiting for a letter to come from the solicitors in England to tell her what her family name is and a little bit about them. What she finds out instead is that she has now inherited a mansion in an upscale part of Chelsea, England, and need only come to the law offices to claim the house. Even in a run down condition she knows the house will be worth many thousands of pounds. Henry narrates a large portion of the story. He was the son of the original family who owned the house in Chelsea. We will see many sides of Henry, the good, the sad and the unbelievable. He had to watch while his home and family were turned upside down and their lifestyle completely changed when David Thomson and his family come to stay, for a very long time!Lucy’s point of view is interesting, she is a now single mother of two, Marco and Sally and has been living most of her life from the money she makes playing her fiddle. She is extremely down and out when we join her in the story. She gets the message on her phone “the baby is 25” just when she had no idea how she was going to continue to provide for her children. She heads to England to rejoin her siblings and the now grown baby who will inherit the family home.This is such a confusing story with so many characters that I’m not going to get into any of the plot. Suffice it to say that it is multi-layered, hard to keep straight and hard to believe. It was only the closing chapters that really set straight what the heck was going on in the novel. For this story to have occurred it would have been necessary for the family, friends and neighbors of the Lamb family to have done nothing to try to find out what was going on in this house for 5 years. The children were taken out of school and eventually none of them were allowed to leave the house. I just kept saying to myself “come on, someone would have noticed something was up here”. I don’t think I can recommend this book to anyone but I will continue to be a huge fan of this author, this book just wasn’t right for me. There are other 5* reviews out there so read a variety of them! I would like to tell my readers that this book does include homosexuality, incest, child abuse and rape. I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss. The book is set to publish November 5, 2019.
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  • Gabby
    January 1, 1970
    Oh gosh I truly don’t understand the hype this book has already received. I absolutely love Lisa Jewell, I consider her one of my favorite authors; this was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year. I feel like this book was just so uninteresting and definitely my least favorite book from her yet. This might be a “it’s not the book it’s me” situation cause everyone else seems to be loving the hell out of this, but I felt so disappointed and bored by this book. In typical Lisa Jewel fashion we Oh gosh I truly don’t understand the hype this book has already received. I absolutely love Lisa Jewell, I consider her one of my favorite authors; this was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year. I feel like this book was just so uninteresting and definitely my least favorite book from her yet. This might be a “it’s not the book it’s me” situation cause everyone else seems to be loving the hell out of this, but I felt so disappointed and bored by this book. In typical Lisa Jewel fashion we follow a few different POV’s in a few different time periods. In her other books I absolutely loved that but in this one I found it so hard to keep track of who was who and what was going on. I feel like there are way too many characters to remember in this book (or maybe this is only because I read this book over a period of several days as opposed to one or two sittings like I usually would for a thriller). It takes a long time for this book to get somewhat interesting and even then I still felt like it dragged. I also feel like this book hardly feels like a thriller - it’s more of a family drama about these siblings and a single mother and this family that moves into another families house with some “thrilling” moments thrown in. I’m actually pretty surprised by the really high reviews so far, maybe I’m just missing something. Every time I picked this book back up I was only able to get through about 30-50 pages because I would get so bored and distracted, which is a bad sign cause thrillers normally read really fast for me, and if I’m not flying through the book it’s because I don’t care about the plot or characters. /:I’m just so disappointed because I wanted to love this book because Lisa Jewell is my thriller queen, but this book just didn’t do it at all for me. Huge thanks to Atria Books for sending me an e-ARC!
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  • NZLisaM
    January 1, 1970
    Sixteen Cheyne Walk – a twelve-room, three-storey house, in the affluent suburb of Chelsea, South West London, overlooking the River Thames.In 1994, the scene of senseless tragedy, and to this day a baffling mystery.Three decomposing bodies in the kitchen – the owners Henry and Martina Lamb, and an unidentified man – victims of an apparent suicide, thought to be living in cult-like circumstances. They have been dead for several days. Upstairs, a baby – healthy, alive, happy. The La Sixteen Cheyne Walk – a twelve-room, three-storey house, in the affluent suburb of Chelsea, South West London, overlooking the River Thames.In 1994, the scene of senseless tragedy, and to this day a baffling mystery.Three decomposing bodies in the kitchen – the owners Henry and Martina Lamb, and an unidentified man – victims of an apparent suicide, thought to be living in cult-like circumstances. They have been dead for several days. Upstairs, a baby – healthy, alive, happy. The Lamb's two teenage children – missing.Fast forward to ‘the baby's' (adopted name Libby Jones) twenty-fifth birthday. Inheriting the house in Chelsea, Libby is determined to uncover the truth of what happened all those years ago. And more importantly, the whereabouts of her older siblings, who have never resurfaced to claim their inheritance. Are they alive?Crime/mystery with moments of psychological suspense, The Family Upstairs is a heck of a good story, that had me glued to the pages. There are whooping good twists and turns, and like all Lisa Jewell books this one was an emotional rollercoaster. The author has an exceptional ability to write vulnerable characters you truly feel for, even when they make bad choices, you understand how they got there.The three alternating POV's (two in the third person, and one in the first) were clear, concise, and unique, and all of them were in very different circumstances, so there was never any doubt over who was speaking. The cast of characters was large, but each one was introduced slowly and carefully, and in a way that was memorable, and I had no problem keeping everyone straight. Chapters were short (only a few pages each) so easy to keep track of where the characters were at, and meant the plot moved along swiftly.Lisa Jewell retains her record of supplying me with absorbing, entertaining, relatable 5 star reads. I need her next book – now!
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  • Nicki
    January 1, 1970
    The Family Upstairs is a mesmerising,enthralling domestic drama/thriller about brother and sister Henry and Lucy Lamb and how swiftly their young lived descended into a living nightmare after two strangers moved into the opulent home in Chelsea that Henry and Lucy shared with their socialite mother and father. A nightmare that culminated with the death of three people and the discovery of a abandoned ten month old baby in the almost empty shell of a once loving family home.It's also The Family Upstairs is a mesmerising,enthralling domestic drama/thriller about brother and sister Henry and Lucy Lamb and how swiftly their young lived descended into a living nightmare after two strangers moved into the opulent home in Chelsea that Henry and Lucy shared with their socialite mother and father. A nightmare that culminated with the death of three people and the discovery of a abandoned ten month old baby in the almost empty shell of a once loving family home.It's also the story of Libby Jones and journalist Miller Roe's investigation into the people who lived at 16 Cheyne Walk after Libby is shocked when she receives a letter informing her that she has inherited the house. The story that they uncover is shocking,twisted and heart breaking and will change Libby's life forever.The chapters flip back and forth in time and are voiced by Libby,Lucy and Henry in the present day and Henry in the past. The chapters covering Henry and Lucy's younger years were very dark at times and pulled at my heart strings more than once as the story unfolded. It was frighteningly scary how quickly their parents were coerced and manipulated by their sinister,twisted house guests. The characters were well rounded,vivid and diverse,many of them were flawed,some were likeable but quite a number of them were not so likeable for various reasons.I love Lisa Jewell's books and The Family Upstairs is no exception. It is exceedingly well written,her words flow with ease,drawing the reader into her enthralling story and holding you captive throughout. Once I started this book,I honestly couldn't put it down,I was hooked in from the first page,totally captivated by the twists and turns as the story unfolded before my captivated eyes. It also raises the moral question,are a person's actions excusable depending on the circumstances?. Very,very highly recommended by little old me.Many thanks to Penguin Random House UK/Cornerstone for a arc of this book via Netgalley in exchange for a honest review
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  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    A book I read in one sitting with breaks to go out in the sun ( kindle taken ) and Irn Bru top ups ( and maybe bikkies too!! )From page 1 it demanded to be read, drew me in and there was nothing I could do until I had finished it ( and what a last line!!!) , this powerfully dramatic story of family life had me completely under its spell from the first sentenceA tale of wealth living in the most luxurious house in Chelsea to sleeping under motorway brdges in France, jealousy, love, dy A book I read in one sitting with breaks to go out in the sun ( kindle taken ) and Irn Bru top ups ( and maybe bikkies too!! )From page 1 it demanded to be read, drew me in and there was nothing I could do until I had finished it ( and what a last line!!!) , this powerfully dramatic story of family life had me completely under its spell from the first sentenceA tale of wealth living in the most luxurious house in Chelsea to sleeping under motorway brdges in France, jealousy, love, dysfunctional families, cults, abandoned babies, riches gained and lost, families re-united psychopaths and narcissists and pretty much everything else was like going from 0-100 in seconds and staying there through every pageThe story is flawlessly told, wonderful characters, some to love, some to hate, the narration so on point and the descriptions eye waveringly real it all adds up to make this one of the best books read this yearA perfect combination of all that makes a good book great, you need to read it, its truly brilliant! 10/10 5 Stars
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  • Katie B
    January 1, 1970
    I had high expectations for this one because I've read and enjoyed most of Lisa Jewell's books. This one did not disappoint and it's tied with Watching You as my favorite book by the author. Libby Jones was adopted and after she turns 25 years old she finds out she has inherited an old mansion from her birth family. The home has an unfortunate history though. Twenty-five years ago police were called to the home where they found an abandoned baby and three dead bodies. It was rumored four other c I had high expectations for this one because I've read and enjoyed most of Lisa Jewell's books. This one did not disappoint and it's tied with Watching You as my favorite book by the author. Libby Jones was adopted and after she turns 25 years old she finds out she has inherited an old mansion from her birth family. The home has an unfortunate history though. Twenty-five years ago police were called to the home where they found an abandoned baby and three dead bodies. It was rumored four other children had been living in the home but if they were ever there, they sure vanished without a trace. And while Libby might not have known she was going to inherit a house, let's just say others have been waiting for this moment for a very long time.I've read enough books by the author by now that I didn't expect there to be many shocking twists and that was the case here. I wouldn't say I figured out everything early on, but I had a general idea where she was headed with the story. However, I'm not saying that is a bad thing, in fact I find her to be a unique author in the mystery thriller genre because she writes compelling stories that don't rely on a whole bunch of surprises. I truly just enjoy being a part of the journey and watching everything unfold. The story goes back and forth between the perspectives of a few characters, in the present time period as well as everything that led up to the abandoned baby in the house. My only real complaint about the novel is in regards to certain characters living in the house. I didn't like how it felt like two of the characters were briefly mentioned, then basically forgotten, and then later on a part of the story. Their presence just felt disjointed in some ways so I wish there could have been more development with them earlier on in the book.Overall, even though this was a bit of a dark and disturbing story, it was a page turner for me. Definitely recommend if you have enjoyed other books by the author.Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an advance digital copy in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Jayme
    January 1, 1970
    Twenty Five years ago, SOMETHING happened at 16 Cheyne Walk. When police arrived, they found three dead bodies in the kitchen and upstairs, a 10 month old baby cooing happily in her crib. The other four children who were reported as living there, were gone. Libby Jones has just turned 25, and has NO idea that she is about to inherit 16 Cheyne Walk. "The Baby has just turned 25" But, Lucy and Henry DO. The story is told from these three alternating perspectives, and as is usually the case when bo Twenty Five years ago, SOMETHING happened at 16 Cheyne Walk. When police arrived, they found three dead bodies in the kitchen and upstairs, a 10 month old baby cooing happily in her crib. The other four children who were reported as living there, were gone. Libby Jones has just turned 25, and has NO idea that she is about to inherit 16 Cheyne Walk. "The Baby has just turned 25" But, Lucy and Henry DO. The story is told from these three alternating perspectives, and as is usually the case when books are written this way. it takes several chapters from each character's POV, before the book finds its rhythm, I have learned to be patient with this approach as most of these books work out just fine for me!Unfortunately, that wasn't the case this time. The majority of the book is told from Henry's viewpoint, as he is the one to explain to the reader, EXACTLY what was going on at this sprawling mansion, as he was growing up and coming of age...and I just did NOT enjoy these chapters- though to say more would reveal a major plot point!I did, somewhat enjoy when the story shifted to Libby or Lucy, but combined these chapters seemed to make up 50% or less of the story.So, despite being a fan of Lisa Jewell's other books, and her always quirky characters, I struggled to get through this one. It was easy to put down, and hard to pick up for me. That being said, I have found that about half of my favorite Goodreads reviewers, gave this 5 stars, with the other half of my favorite Goodreads reviewers, rating this a three. So, you have a 50% chance of loving it, (or not!!) I encourage you to read a sample of both opinions before deciding if this one might be a fit for you! 2.5 stars rounded up! Triggers: Child Abuse, and a cat killed.😾Thank you to Atria Books, who offered me an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for a candid review. Available Oct. 29th, 2019.
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  • Pauline
    January 1, 1970
    Henry, his sister and his parents live a very privileged lifestyle in a large house in London. When he is twelve years old things start to change. His parents stop going out and stop spending money as readily as they always had. Then people come to stay. Little by little the house starts to feel like it no longer belongs to his family and Henry is not happy.This story has quite a few twists and turns and things are not always as they seem.Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, C Henry, his sister and his parents live a very privileged lifestyle in a large house in London. When he is twelve years old things start to change. His parents stop going out and stop spending money as readily as they always had. Then people come to stay. Little by little the house starts to feel like it no longer belongs to his family and Henry is not happy.This story has quite a few twists and turns and things are not always as they seem.Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, Cornerstone for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Carolyn
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in return for an honest review. This was unlike previous domestic thrillers I have read by Lisa Jewell. Reading this book was an unsettling experience. I found it a chilling and uncomfortable story, but so compelling that I was riveted to the pages. There was a sinister and menacing aspect which permeated this book. Themes involved search for identity, family issues, reconciliation, poverty and great wealth, physical and emotional abuse. Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in return for an honest review. This was unlike previous domestic thrillers I have read by Lisa Jewell. Reading this book was an unsettling experience. I found it a chilling and uncomfortable story, but so compelling that I was riveted to the pages. There was a sinister and menacing aspect which permeated this book. Themes involved search for identity, family issues, reconciliation, poverty and great wealth, physical and emotional abuse. This could be classified as Gothic horror, dark, with mainly flawed or damaged characters. The story is narrated through the viewpoints of three characters, Harry, Libby and Lucy. As some of the characters use assumed names, and so many to keep straight early in the story, I am glad how well it came together. Libby Jones works as a sales representative of designer kitchens. She lives in a small flat and is just getting by financially. On her 25th birthday she is stunned and pleasantly surprised to learn she has inherited a mansion worth millions in the wealthy Chelsea district. 25 years earlier it was the home of the wealthy Lamb family with young children, Henry and Lucy. The mansion was lavishly furnished, and the place where some fine society parties were held. Early childhood seemed like a pleasant time. After an unknown person alerted police, the shocking discovery of the decomposing bodies of the Lamb parents and an unidentified man we're found. A note lead police to find Baby Serenity Lamb in her crib, appearing to be well cared for and clean. Four older children known to be part of the household had vanished. The bodies were found clad in black robes and evidence pointed to a cult suicide. On viewing the house with the solicitor, Libby found it to be in a dilapidated state, with lawns and gardens overgrown, and the fine furnishings long gone. The house had an eerie atmosphere and Libby was alarmed to hear someone upstairs. She was determined to learn what happened on that fatal day, and enlists the help of journalist Miller Rae to help fill in the past history. His obsession with the case ruined his home and social life. This seems to have a happy home until a pop star, Birdie, asks to stay for a couple of days. Mrs. Lamb agrees, but Birdie has no intention of leaving. She moves in her partner from the band, and soon brings in David and Sally Thomsen who aim to live there permanently with their children, Phin and Clemency. David is a manipulator and third with strong charismatic persuasive ability. He completely dominates the family, taking control of their lives, ruining them financially. His stringent rules and harsh punishments take a devastating emotional and physical toll on the children. The parents are unable or unwilling to change things as they slip into poverty. Henry describes his hatred for the horrible things occurring in the mansion. In the south of France, a young single mother is living in poverty, often homeless with her two young children, Marco and Stella, and their dog. She made some living busking with her fiddle, but this was damaged by a vandal. She is committed to take her family back to England. This seems an insurmountable task with no money or passports. How does her unhappy life connect with the rest of the story? Lisa Jewell brilliantly brings all the story threads together after some unexpected twists. The conclusion is open-ended but I enjoyed that part the most. 4.5 Stars
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  • Dita
    January 1, 1970
    432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 1o hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone in my family who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good. We're ordering pizza tonight. Sorry, not sorry.Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little wh 432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 1o hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone in my family who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good. We're ordering pizza tonight. Sorry, not sorry.Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little while because pretty soon? Bang, like jello it all gels together and the tension ramps and ramps and ramps. I could...not....put....it....down.I'll let everyone else describe it; just read it!Thank you to Lisa Jewel, Atria Books, and NetGalley for giving me this digital ARC (I received a widget!!) in exchange for an honest review!
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  • Meredith B. (readingwithmere)
    January 1, 1970
    4 Stars! She sees that she has 8 percent battery charge left and is about to switch it off again when she notices her phone has sent her a notification from her calendar. It's been there for weeks but she can't bring herself to cancel it. It says, simply: The baby is 25. One morning, Libby gets the mail like she usually does. There's an envelope that she has been anticipating for awhile and she can't wait to see what it says. This is finally what she's been wanting to know: where she came from. Th/> 4 Stars! She sees that she has 8 percent battery charge left and is about to switch it off again when she notices her phone has sent her a notification from her calendar. It's been there for weeks but she can't bring herself to cancel it. It says, simply: The baby is 25. One morning, Libby gets the mail like she usually does. There's an envelope that she has been anticipating for awhile and she can't wait to see what it says. This is finally what she's been wanting to know: where she came from. The letter tells her something she cannot even believe - she's now inherited a huge mansion and is probably going to become insanely rich if she sells it. How can anything else in life be bad?On the other end, there's been many people waiting for the day Libby inherits this house. They've been watching, keeping reminders and visiting when they can in anticipation. Why so much hype? 25 years ago police were called to that exact house for a major crime + missing persons. What could have possibly happened here? Libby meets with a journalist and they start to unravel the story until Libby comes across the biggest surprise of them all..The multiple story lines is what really made this book for me. Sometimes they can get really confusing or I lose interest but I was invested in every single character's story line throughout this entire book. I thought bringing the story together with all the characters was the best part of Jewell's writing.I also really enjoyed how the writing in this story made me feel like I was right next to Libby or I was even Libby myself looking in. I felt like when certain events were happening I was watching them fully play out. It was almost too real at times. To me, being able to place yourself into the story is the sign of a good book.If you are looking for an addictive haunting thriller for the fall/winter and a family mystery I would definitely recommend this one! I could barely put it down.Thank you to Atria Books for my ARC of this book. This one publishes in November!
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  • Dennis
    January 1, 1970
    In the last couple of years, Lisa Jewell has been getting a lot of notoriety in the publishing world. Her last couple of novels have been massive hits in both the UK and USA, and I know that The Family Upstairs will be her biggest hit yet. This book sets the bar for the phrase "unputdownable!" The synopsis explains the story well: Libby Jones has just turned 25 and has inherited a house. Not just any house, but a mansion on the block of one of London's most exclusive neighborhoods. Libby, is in fact, In the last couple of years, Lisa Jewell has been getting a lot of notoriety in the publishing world. Her last couple of novels have been massive hits in both the UK and USA, and I know that The Family Upstairs will be her biggest hit yet. This book sets the bar for the phrase "unputdownable!" The synopsis explains the story well: Libby Jones has just turned 25 and has inherited a house. Not just any house, but a mansion on the block of one of London's most exclusive neighborhoods. Libby, is in fact, now a millionaire. She was orphaned as a newborn, but she never knew what the circumstances of her adoption. Now that her birth family has gifted her their family home, Libby begins to investigate. Without going any further, what Libby finds out shakes her to her core—murder, cults, rape, abuse, missing children. Libby has opened up a box that she may never be able to cover back up.I don't want to go any further in my synopsis takeaway for the story because the best part of this book is the mystery that unfolds. As I kept reading, I kept saying to myself, "what the F is happening here?!"—in the best possible way. Without it ever going to the end of ridiculousness, Lisa Jewell crafts a brilliantly told family-drama mystery novel. I could not read this book fast enough! I feel like The Family Upstairs will be in my annual top 10 books of the year. The character development between Libby and the other two point-of-view characters (I will not spoil it for you), will stay with me for a long time. If you are a fan of Ruth Ware, YOU NEED THIS BOOK! For real, this book joins the ranks of Ruth Ware and Riley Sager and hits a home-run! I hope this isn't the end of knowing this family—especially because of that ending! UGH, when you finish this book, hit me up because I have a lot of feelings about it!
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