Jane is a dog walker in a prominent neighborhood in Birmingham, Alabama trying to make ends meet. She meets Eddie Rochester, a widower whose wife drowned in a boating accident and her body was never found. They start to see each other, but Jane sees Bea everywhere and she wonders if she and Eddie will be able to truly move on from her. When things are not adding up about Mrs. Rochester’s death, Jane questions everything about her life and if her new beau is all he says he is.
Ummmmmmmm…. What just happened?!? From the symbiosis of this book, I thought it was going to be a traditional Jane Eyre retelling and boy was I WRONG!!! I mean the author didn’t even change any of the names of the main characters. So I was going into this book expecting a tragic romance, a crazy wife, and a passionate and dashing love interest, wellllll…. I was kind of right.
This book was like Gone Girl, Jane Eyre, and a little The Great Gatsby has a threesome and created a very very VERY psychotic, terrible, demonic, dysfunctional child. The multiple perspectives between the wife and Jane were just so well done. Jane would relay something that occurred and then the wife’s perspective made you question everything that Jane observed!
The changing of perspectives definitely added to the suspense and made it move much faster; however, I found the overall plot to be a little too slow for my taste. It caused me to take a while to get into the story because I kept waiting for something crazy to happen. I had to wait about like 100 pages and it wasn’t even really suspended. ( I know that is not a real word, but I can’t think of a more accurate and real term.)
The characters of this book were very interesting, but all EXTREMELY unlikable and all equally terrible. The ladies of the neighborhood reminded me of any and every busybody in the neighborhood, but they were the WORST gossips! I mean their role is to spill all the secrets of the neighborhood and they sucked at it! They gave information, but enough and it kind of made me annoyed. I wanted them to spill their guts, but they had morals. So annoying.
I also felt that Jane was SUCH a boring character. I mean Jane in Jane Eyre was meek and boring too, but NOT that boring. I wanted to know more about her background because the information they revealed wasn’t even that scandalous. All that build up for nothing! Eddie was a patronizing dick and I DID NOT understand why ANYONE would want him. The way he spoke to women was so awful, I wanted to puke! Mrs. Rochester was the most interesting character to me and she was my driving force to keep reading. Her dialogue added such depth to the plot and Eddie so she was definitely necessary!
The ending of this book has a twist that was confounding to me and I am still reeling from it! I feel like I woke up naked on my front lawn and have no memory of how I got there. The ending just left me with so many questions that it almost felt disjointed! All I can say is that Jane got a satisfying ending that is nothing like any Jane retelling I’ve ever read.
Overall, if you are looking for a twisty turny thriller with unlikable characters surrounded by a plot of crazy and dysfunction, pick up this retelling!
My Book Rating
3/5 Heebie Jeebies
The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Published on January 5, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press
Copy Read: Hardcover (BOTM)