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The Wife Upstairs
Cover of The Wife Upstairs
The Wife Upstairs
A Novel
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Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller"Compulsively readable...a gothic thriller laced with arsenic." ––EWOne of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021: CNN Newsweek Vulture ...
Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller"Compulsively readable...a gothic thriller laced with arsenic." ––EWOne of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021: CNN Newsweek Vulture ...
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Description-

  • Instant New York Times and USA Today Bestseller

    "Compulsively readable...a gothic thriller laced with arsenic." ––EW

    One of the Most Anticipated Books of 2021: CNN

  • Newsweek
  • Vulture
  • PopSugar
  • Parade
  • BuzzFeed
  • E!Online
  • TimeOut
  • Woman's Day
  • Goodreads
  • She Reads
  • Good Housekeeping
  • CrimeReads
  • Frolic
  • Hello!
  • Mystery and Suspense
    January 2021 Indie Next Pick and #1 LibraryReads Pick
    A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.
    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?

About the Author-

  • Rachel Hawkins is the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs, as well as multiple books for young readers, and her work has been translated in over a dozen countries. She studied gender and sexuality in Victorian literature at Auburn University and currently lives in Alabama.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 28, 2020
    YA author Hawkins (Her Royal Highness) makes her adult debut with this spirited reboot of Jane Eyre. Shortly after starting to walk dogs in tony Thornfield Estates, a gated community in Birmingham, Ala., the penniless young woman calling herself Jane meets dashing recent widower Eddie Rochester—whose wealthy wife, Bea Mason, went missing and was presumed drowned in a boating mishap, along with her BFF Blanche Ingraham, six months earlier. Sparks fly, but plain Jane has a tough time living up to the legend of the glamorous Bea, who created the Southern Manors lifestyle brand. Then Blanche’s body is found, and it’s clear from the massive skull fracture that her death was no accident. As the police reopen their probe, an increasingly concerned Jane starts investigating Bea’s fate and what part, if any, Eddie played. Hawkins shows real wit in outsider Jane’s sharp-eyed take on the entitled ladies of Thornfield Estates, but the mercenarily motivated characters will put off some readers. Nonetheless, this suspenseful domestic thriller will keep readers turning the pages. Agent: Holly Root, Root Literary.

  • Booklist

    December 1, 2020
    In her adult debut, YA author Hawkins (Royals, 2018) twists together the suspense and storytelling of Jane Eyre with the atmosphere, tension, and odd characters of a Southern-gothic novel into a tale of a young woman trying to escape her past. Jane walks the dogs of the rich socialites of Birmingham's Thornfield Estates, understanding she's an outsider. That is, until she meets Eddie Rochester. Eddie can give her everything she ever wanted. But as they prepare to marry, the death of Eddie's first wife, Bea, and her best friend, Blanche, hangs over them, until Jane discovers that Bea may not be as much a part of Eddie's past as she'd thought. The bleak setting provides the appropriate mood to each of Jane's discoveries, leading to well-plotted surprises that may not be entirely shocking, especially for fans of Charlotte Bront�'s work. First-person narration by Jane allows for a slow reveal of her past, and occasional perspectives from other characters provide clues to their motivations. An altogether sinister novel that will make readers of Jennifer McMahon, Ruth Ware, and Donna Tartt shudder.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Expect a lot of media coverage of (and therefore a lot of demand for) this Southern-gothic Jane Eyre adaptation.

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Library Journal

    January 8, 2021

    In children's author Hawkins's first adult novel, Jane is a wanderer. Newly arrived in Birmingham, AL, she walks dogs for the rich and sometimes famous residents of Thornfield Estates. Jane both envies and despises the women she works for. To them, she is invisible. Luckily for Jane, that means they won't notice her habit of pocketing their jewelry or bother to wonder if Jane is her real name. When Jane meets Eddie, she sees the opportunity of a lifetime. Handsome, rich, and widowed, Eddie Rochester is Jane's ticket into a normal life. However, the further Jane molds herself to fit into Eddie's world of wealth and glamour, the more she is tormented by the memory of Bea Rochester. As Jane digs further, the circumstances of Bea's death start to slowly morph into a complete picture, but not before Jane gets caught in the middle of a battle already raging. VERDICT With an even darker twist, this novel delivers a one-of-a-kind take on a well-known gothic tale. In addition to the suspenseful story line, the distorted love triangle and the impassivity of the Thornfield residents will have readers feeling simultaneously discombobulated and fulfilled. Recommended for all library mystery collections.--Carmen Clark, Elkhart Public Library, IN

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    July 1, 2021
    Jane Eyre gets a modern, Alabama-based reboot in Hawkins' latest thriller. Dog walker to the elite and sometime petty thief, Jane will do what she must to survive. Growing up as a witness to violence in various foster homes, she's tougher than she looks. Then she meets Eddie Rochester, who's recently lost his wife, Bertha, and his wife's best friend, Blanche Ingraham, in a tragic boating accident, their bodies never found. Dating Eddie gives Jane the social capital to move from dog walker to equal within the neighborhood, and soon, copying the style and mannerisms of the status-conscious women around her, she is welcome on their committees and at their parties. Bea Rochester, who was the glossy creator of a fashion brand, gets her own sections of the story as well. Given the names, it quickly becomes clear that Hawkins is basing the novel on Jane Eyre. While reimagining the classics is always fair game, there must be a point to it; that is, the original text must in some way enhance or add complexity or interest to the new text, and vice versa. In this case, Hawkins' novel falls short. Given the title and all the existing criticism of Charlotte Bront�'s original, Hawkins had the opportunity to explore the ideas of feminism and exoticism through a 21st-century lens; to critique ideas of masculine strength and mental health; to overlay a more complex idea of family and parenting and status. Instead, the characters are themselves mere caricatures whose only claims to having layers are the names they share with the originals. The Gothic creepiness is mostly lost; the subtext is nonexistent; and perhaps worst of all, Jane, though never perhaps a heroine to emulate, loses the opportunity to change and evolve. With no one to feel for, or even cheer for, the novel offers little true enjoyment and never really takes off as an original mystery. Skip this one and read Wide Sargasso Sea instead.

    COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Newsweek "A delightfully surprising and suspenseful twist on Jane Eyre."
  • Publishers Weekly "...this suspenseful domestic thriller will keep readers turning pages."
  • The Skimm "Consider us enthralled."
  • Shelf Awareness "This compelling retelling of Jane Eyre deftly serves up a delicious mystery with a side of biting social commentary."
  • Kelly Harms, nationally bestselling author of The Overdue Life of Amy Byler "The Wife Upstairs is everything I'd hoped--sharp, smart, tricky and fast-paced. Rachel Hawkins' debut thriller puts you in the steps of an outsider, an insider, and an imposter, but which is which? You won't know til you're up way too late turning the final pages."
  • Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author "Rachel Hawkins delivers a sharp, fresh twist on a classic in this darkly funny, suspenseful story of murder, ambition, and love. Creepy and fast-paced, The Wife Upstairs kept me on the edge of my seat from the first page to the very last."
  • Publishers Weekly, starred review "Ace plotting, snappy dialogue, unexpected twists, and an exhilarating finale will have readers eager for more."
  • Kirkus, starred review "Hawkins' characterizations shine as original and funny."
  • Booklist

    "Signature wit punctuates the action, balancing snappy satire with edgy suspense"

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    St. Martin's Publishing Group
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