Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Synopsis: 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?
With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?
The Wife Upstairs is a modern day adaptation of Jane Eyre, and although it shares many similarities such as people’s names, and the plot, Hawkins deft hand gives it several twists which makes it stand apart from its predecessor. If you’ve read Jane Eyre, then the mystery at the heart of this won’t be a shock, but getting there is as delicious as a mint julep. That’s thanks to the inhabitants of Thornfield Estates, who might not be likable but they’re utterly fascinating. The main characters all have their backstories tweaked and modernized, making them familiar yet intriguing. This is the very definition of a page-turner and I gobbled it up in one sitting. The ending is a little different from the original classic, but it’s perfectly in keeping with the story and quite satisfying. I HIGHLY recommend The Wife Upstairs to anyone who loves sly twisty mysteries.