A twisty Southern gothic about a rich husband, his hot young fiancée, and unanswered questions about his missing wife.
Good to know
Based on a classic
Why I love it
Author, Such a Quiet Place
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.
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?