1 review

The Wife Upstairs: A Novel
by Rachel Hawkins

Published: 2021-01-05T00:0
Hardcover : 304 pages
26 members reading this now
40 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
Named an Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick for January 2021
One of the "Best New Books Coming Out in 2021" ––PopSugar
One of the "Most Anticipated Thrillers of 2021" ––She Reads
One of the "Best and Most Anticipated Thrillers of the Year" ––Mystery and Suspense ...
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Named an Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick for January 2021
One of the "Best New Books Coming Out in 2021" ––PopSugar
One of the "Most Anticipated Thrillers of 2021" ––She Reads
One of the "Best and Most Anticipated Thrillers of the Year" ––Mystery and Suspense Magazine
One of the "Most Anticipated Books of 2021" ––CrimeReads

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins's The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. But her luck changes when she meets recently widowed Eddie Rochester, Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. As Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story. How can she ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

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It is the absolute shittiest day for a walk.

Rain has been pouring down all morning, making my drive from Center Point out here to Mountain Brook a nightmare, soaking the hem of my jeans as I get out of the car in the Reeds’ driveway, making my sneakers squelch on the marble floors of the foyer. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

The Wife Upstairs features two complex female characters, Jane and Bea. How are the woman alike? How are they different? Can you sympathize with them both?

How is The Wife Upstairs different from other retellings you have read or listened to?

The author, Rachel Hawkins, wrote her undergraduate thesis on gender and sexuality in Victorian novels. What argument do you feel like she was making about these themes in The Wife Upstairs? Did she successfully incorporate and update the feminist themes in Jane Eyre?

[audiobook version question] The audiobook is read by three different narrators. Discuss how their different voices contributed to the character development of Jane, Bea, and Eddie. How did the narration enhance the plot? ?

Why do you think Jane’s impulse to steal is so strong before her marriage, and continues after she has access to such wealth?

Although their relationship has been full of deceit, betrayal, and insecurity, why do you think Bea and Eddie remain so magnetically drawn to each other?

Given that Bea and Jane are the main narrative perspectives throughout the novel, what did you think of the author’s choice to include only one section to share Eddie’s perspective? What does Eddie’s narrative add to your understanding of him as an individual and in his relationships with both Bea and Jane?

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by kelly o. (see profile) 11/11/21

by Kristina S. (see profile) 05/20/23

by dody b. (see profile) 04/15/23

by Nichole L. (see profile) 09/05/22

by Cindy G. (see profile) 04/17/22

by Karla W. (see profile) 02/16/22

by Amanda D. (see profile) 02/08/22

Predictable, whiny characters, could have been really good. Never fully got to where it needed to go.

by lynda h. (see profile) 10/14/21

by Sherri H. (see profile) 09/16/21

by Lindsey M. (see profile) 07/31/21

It was slow. All of the action was in the last 60 pages.

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