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All booksThrillerThe Family Upstairs
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs

Repeat author
Lisa Jewell is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include Then She Was Gone and Watching You and Invisible Girl and The Night She Disappeared.

by Lisa Jewell

Quick take

Fascinated by cults? This is for you. From the author of Then She Was Gone, a mansion haunted by mysterious murders.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FastRead

    Fast read

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Psychological


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MultipleNarrators

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


Why I love it

Jordan Moblo

I have a confession to make: I am a sucker for a good domestic suspense novel. Nothing makes me happier than a dark and soapy multigenerational mystery, and nobody excels at the genre like Lisa Jewell. Her characters are reliably unreliable, her mysteries are unnervingly twisty, and she manages to do all that without sacrificing well-developed relationships and emotionally layered characters. Which is quite a feat, especially in her latest book, which also happens to feature poisonous gardens, creepy cults, acid trips, and mass murder!

Libby Jones was adopted as a baby and grew up wondering who her birth parents were. Now an adult, she is stunned to receive a letter not only informing her who her mom and dad were, but also notifying her that she is the sole beneficiary of their abandoned London mansion. Said mansion just happens to be the location where her parents were found dead 25 years ago (of course!!). As Libby begins to unravel the secrets around her parents’ deaths, she soon suspects she might not be the only relative looking for answers.

Told from three alternating points of view, The Family Upstairs is a fast-paced whodunit that will keep you guessing until the final delicious sentence. If I had any issues with the book, it would be that my productive Sunday afternoon came to a screeching standstill when I naively thought it would be a good idea to start this unputdownable read. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

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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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of The Family Upstairs.

Member thoughts

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18913 ratings
  • 47% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 4% Dislike
  • Lorena, TX

    The suspense is thrilling & addicting, and I’ve realized she purposefully lets you think you’ve figured it out, only to give a twist bigger than you could have imagined. The ending doesn’t disappoint!

  • Newark, DE

    haunting story of unrequited love, murder, suicide, mystery, and trauma. Some parts are really hard to read but, the mystery of the web of characters will keep you powering through. The last lines shookme

  • Hilton, NY

    I honestly LOVED this book and couldn’t put it down. Immediately after closing it I looked up if there was a second book... I don’t think there is and that is the only negative thing I could ever say.

  • Greenwich, NY

    I loved this book! The characters gave me all the emotions, oh so many emotions! The turns and twists and heart-thumping moments!! A really great story, I’ll be looking back at others by Lisa Jewell.

  • Chandler, AZ

    Any book with multiple POV can be a hit or miss, Lisa did an incredible job by keeping me invested with every character in both timelines I couldn’t stop reading! Wonderful book, highly recommend.

  • New York , NY

    It’s an amazing thriller with a lot of twists and turns, some more predictable than others, but all still very effective. Each narrator had their own distinct voice and they are all equally enjoyable.

  • Las Vegas, NV

    It took me a bit to get into it. the writing was simple- there was a Lot Less to think about than other novels. It wasn’t until the middle of the book that i got hooked And was surprised by the end!!

  • Philadelphia, PA

    ONE OF THE BEST BOTM IVE EVER HAD!!! Well written, amazing character development and what a story! Pulls at your heart strings hard and shocks you until the last page! Don’t want to miss out on this!

  • Watertown, NY

    I love a good mystery! This was a page turner. It had the right amount of disturbing moments and happy moments. I liked how it was pieced together with the different characters’ current & past lives.

  • Guthrie, OK

    I loved all the characters. They were well rounded and interesting. The book plays on several of the character’s stories and perspectives about the horrible snippet in time they spent in a “hell”

  • Ocoee, FL

    I feel like I just got off a rollercoaster. This book had me in suspense the whole time. I thought I had things figured out & then something would happen to derail my theory. I couldn’t put it down!

  • Belton, SC

    Absolutely intrigued by this book! I kept trying to figure out who was who during Libby’s part of the story. This was an absolute page turner. Can’t wait to read another of Lisa Jewell’s books.

  • Murfreesboro , TN

    This was so good!! Its not super fast paced but i was interested the entire time and read it in 2 days. & The twists arent revealed in a big flashy “WHOA” type of way but theyre still good!! Loved!

  • Clifton, NJ

    The Family Upstairs was a great story, full of trauma, darkness and crazy ancestry. Lisa Jewell did a phenomenal job at telling this dark story in a way that didn’t feel heavy. Definitely recommend.

  • Houston, TX

    This book twists and turns, really keeps you guessing. Every chapter ends with a cliff hanger so you can’t put it down. I was fascinated from the beginning and kept being surprised up until the end!

  • Omaha, NE

    I have read books by this author before, but this is by far my favorite. It was not at all what I expected and I didn't guess the ending. Lots of twists, fast paced, and well developed characters.

  • Westminster, CO

    The Family Upstairs is a dark read that kept me engaged to the end. I enjoyed all of the characters and the good versus evil plot within the families in the house. The cult-like themes were shocking.

  • Indianapolis, IN

    Do we ever really know the people we live with? When a family’s life find itself full of welcomed intruders, things take a turn for the worse. Twenty-five years later the remaining members meet...

  • Tucson, AZ

    The flow from chapter to chapter makes it impossible to stop reading! This book went in a crazy direction that I was not expecting. The kinda cliff-hanger ending makes me want more! What will happen?!

  • Wilmington , NC

    What a twisty book! The chapters jump back and forth in time, which added so much to the storyline, the characters, and the suspense. Lisa Jewell grabbed my attention from the start and never let go.

  • Too Good to Be True
  • The Push
  • The Collective
  • The Last Thing He Told Me
  • The Damage
  • 56 Days
  • We Were Never Here
  • Everything We Didn't Say
  • The Last Flight
  • The Night She Disappeared
  • Not a Happy Family
  • The Wife Upstairs
  • Rock Paper Scissors
  • The Maidens
  • A Flicker in the Dark
  • Razorblade Tears
  • Reckless Girls
  • Winter Counts
  • Silverview
  • The Woman in the Window
  • The Hunting Party
  • The Silent Patient
  • Goodnight Beautiful
  • The Hunting Wives
  • Pretty Little Wife
  • The Guest List
  • Invisible Girl
  • Girl A
  • Behind Her Eyes
  • The Girl in the Mirror
  • The Night Swim
  • Before She Knew Him
  • Then She Was Gone
  • You Are Not Alone
  • The Family Upstairs
  • The Wife Between Us
  • Into the Water
  • Gone Girl
  • Dark Places
  • The Alienist
  • Since We Fell
  • The Blinds
  • Cross Her Heart
  • The Winter Sister
  • The Other Woman
  • Necessary People