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All booksThrillerThe Wife Upstairs
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs

Early Release
This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait 'til next month to read it.

by Rachel Hawkins

Quick take

A twisty Southern gothic about a rich husband, his hot young fiancée, and unanswered questions about his missing wife.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Creepy


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Whodunit


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_SuburbanDrama

    Suburban drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_BasedOnAClassic

    Based on a classic

Why I love it

Megan Miranda
Author, The Girl from Widow Hills

As a huge mystery and suspense reader, I love trying to solve the puzzle at the heart of the story before all the pieces have slid into place. But even more, I love that joy of surprise when those puzzle pieces suddenly create something unexpected. And The Wife Upstairs surprised me in all the best ways. I was hooked by the premise itself: a reimagined Jane Eyre as a contemporary domestic suspense set in the South? Yes please! What followed was a tense mystery told in a pitch-perfect voice, brimming with sharp insight and wit.

To set the scene: Our Jane is a dog walker in Thornfield Estates, a development of McMansions in suburban Alabama. And—courtesy of a chance encounter on one abysmal rainy day—Jane is about to fall for one of the residents, the recently widowed Eddie Rochester. But the ghost of Mrs. Rochester’s memory looms large in Thornfield Estates—along with the whispered rumors…

The Wife Upstairs truly has something for every type of reader: murder, love, and ambition combine in a story that is both witty and suspenseful. I loved trying to line up the similarities to the source material, but those who haven’t read Jane Eyre will have just as much fun getting swept along for the ride as the story veered into its own twisting, haunting, surprising tale. This was a lightning-fast read that had me glued to the page, desperate to see what would happen, and enjoying every minute along the way.

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Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates—a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie—not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet 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, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

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

Member thoughts

All (31313)
All (31313)
Love (15106)
Like (14785)
Dislike (1422)
31501 ratings
  • 48% Love
  • 47% Like
  • 5% Dislike
  • Orange City, FL

    Every time I thought I’d figured it out here came another switcharoo!!! It’s so easy to think everyone’s lives are so much better because of how they “appear” but things aren’t always what they seem.

  • Las Vegas, NV

    I’m on the fence about like or love but since I found myself so intrigued with Eddie and what his “plans” were, I’m giving it ❤️. The characters were nuts and the setting was fun. Great beach read!

  • Fort Worth , TX

    Just finished this one. I wasn’t a huge fan of Jane at first but I enjoyed the book. Towards the end was the “OOH” moment putting pieces together was so fun. Wish they’d gone over what happened after.

  • Overland Park , KS

    This was probably the first suspense book I’ve read in a long time that I wasn’t sure how it ended. The author did an amazing job keeping you guessing. I can’t wait till she writes another book. 

  • Pensacola, FL

    It’s extremely rare that a book surprises me but this one did and I absolutely loved it! I didn’t completely like any of the characters but that’s what made me happy because they were like real people

  • Mingo Junction , OH

    Very intriguing book! I couldn’t put it down! It had similarities of Jane Eyre. It was a great thriller and mystery! I didn’t know who to believe. The ending was classic but I’m glad it ended that way

  • Bedford, TX

    Holy cow! I did not expect any of these twists! And I’m still not sure what happened in the end! I had a hard time relating to Jane she was so materialistic. But figuring out Eddie kept my interest!

  • Lisle, IL

    This book kept me intrigued from beginning to end. If you’re looking for a mystery/thriller that has limited violence, then you’ll like this book. I finished it in one sitting. I’d highly recommend!

  • Milton, NY

    I didn’t see the twist in this book coming at all! Excellent read - I wish that Bea’s storyline was covered more throughout, and the cliff hanger conclusion will haunt me! But overall, loved this book

  • Hialeah, FL

    I kept thinking “wow everything is moving so quickly!” and I think that’s what kept me engaged from the start and able to finish it within 4 days. Loved the different point of views and who done it

  • Baltimore, MD

    Huge fan of ‘Jane Eyre’; kept second guessing my suspicions, based on knowledge of source material. This book is so awesome, and yet, withholding spoilers, I am unsatisfied with the ending. Read it.

  • Bellefonte, PA

    Well-written & totally absorbing, this classic-turned-thriller is unputdownable! I wasn’t super shocked by the twists, but that didn’t keep me from being glued to the page. A fresh & fun reimagining!

  • Maumelle, AR

    I’m in between loved and like this one. I really enjoyed the story line but had a hard time connecting to the main character at times. Remember: everyone is NOT who they seem! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Montclair, NJ

    THE WIFE UPSTAIRS is one of the most fun Jane Eyre retellings I’ve ever read. Making Jane a thief and a grifter in the midst of wealthy Alabama society made for a clever twist in this quick thriller.

  • Charleston, WV

    What a fun thriller to wrap up the year with! I fell for all the author’s misdirections and didn’t see the ending coming! There were a few loose ends that were left hanging, but otherwise fantastic!

  • Nashville, TN

    This was CRAZY! Bea was crazy! But you REALLY don't figure it out till the end. I was so confused when we finally got Eddie's pov. And I believe Helen/Jane could have been honest Eddie all along. 4 ⭐

  • Savage, MN

    I would have read this in one sitting if I didn’t have responsibilities. Combining my favorites of classics and thrillers, this is one that will have you changing your mind on the twist until the end

  • Irondale, AL

    I really enjoyed this mystery. I was pleasantly surprised when I realized it was set in my hometown, so I recognized the different places the characters went. I would love a sequel for unanswered ?’s.

  • College Station, TX

    Fantastic retelling of Jane Eyre! The plot is fresh, while recognizable parallels are so clear too. I totally didn’t see the twist coming and was at the edge of my seat the whole time. Unputdownable!

  • Leesburg, OH

    OMG! I read this book in a matter of hours. I could not put it down. Just when I thought it was Eddie or Tripp, the south or did a complete 180. Couldn’t have asked for a better ending for Jane!!

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