I enjoyed Jane Eyre, so when I heard The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins was a loose retelling – but set in the South during modern day – I was sold.
This thriller follows Jane, a self-professed plain girl who’s trying to escape her past. She walks dogs for the rich folks of Alabama. One day, she meets a very handsome, very rich man – Eddie Rochester – and the trajectory of her life changes drastically.
Pretty soon, she’s living in his fancy home, planning charity events with the other ladies of the neighborhood, and enjoying a lavish lifestyle. But will her past catch up with her? Or are there more secrets waiting to come to light?
*I received this book for free from the publisher (St. Martin’s Press) in exchange for an honest review.
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The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins: My Thoughts
This was such a cool way to pay homage to the Gothic classic Jane Eyre, but in a subtle way. The Wife Upstairs took inspiration from it, but the story was unique and had its own flair.
I really liked the Southern setting. This was heavily focused on the Thornfield Estates neighborhood, which was certainly juicy and dripping in wealth. (I do wish there would have been more of Alabama in the story, since I’ve never been there and I’m always fascinated by places and natural surroundings. But I can see how that might have distracted from the point of the story.)
If you need a super likeable character in order to enjoy a book, this may not be the one for you. The characters are nuanced, with heavy shades of grey when it comes to morality. But it certainly kept my attention and I flew through the pages! We’re slowly fed more and more into characters’ backstories, and I enjoyed seeing everything play out.
I also found it fun searching for the little pieces of Jane Eyre that were placed in the story, though I don’t think you need to have read that book to enjoy this one!
Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars
Publication date: January 5th, 2021
Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of most-anticipated book releases in January 2021!