Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the Random Things Tours for Rachel Hawkins's latest, The Wife Upstairs!

Jane has a secret past. In fact, Jane isn't even her real name. She's recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama and is working as a dog walker in the chic Thornfield Estates neighborhood. Not that dog walking pays the bills—Jane has other ways of doing that. But Jane doesn't plan to be a dog walker for long. 

When she meets the newly widowed Eddie Rochester, her plan to move up in life begins in earnest. Their relationship is whirlwind, to say the least, but Eddie is hurting. His wife, his love, disappeared almost a year ago along with her best friend, another of the Thornfield Estates ladies, and Jane is more than willing to help him pick up the pieces of his life. But can Jane really fill the missing Bea's shoes? And does she really want to?

Followers on the blog know that I'm a sucker for any Jane Eyre or Rebecca retelling. And let's face it Rebecca is undoubtedly a Jane Eyre retelling anyway. The Wife Upstairs is billed as a take on Jane Eyre but elements of the tale are definitely drawn on du Maurier's story, making is an excellent modern-day twist on the classics! 

When Jane arrives at Thornfield Estates, two neighborhood women have been missing for months. 

Best friends Blanche and Bea went to the latter's lake house for a weekend away, but neither returned. It's been theorized that they got drunk and went boating, both of them lost to the deep waters of a man made lake, their bodies hidden in an underwater forest that makes retrieving the bodies all but impossible. 

And Jane is working for Blanche's widow already. A man who spends his time, as Jane observes, getting wasted. 

Though it takes some time for Jane to meet Bea's husband, Eddie, she makes fast work of it once they do cross each others paths. Or rather, Eddie does. He asks her out and before long invites her to move in with him in his grand and empty abode. 

But Bea's shadow hangs over everything. The neighbors seem to judge Jane by Bea's example. The house is decorated in Bea's style. Even Jane can't quite shake the missing woman, finding herself dressing in a manner that shadows a look Bea sported in the few pictures Jane sees. 

Hawkins offers up three perspectives to the story. Jane's, obviously, Bea's, and Eddie's. As to whether or not you can believe any of them completely is up to the reader to decide. Which is kind of the case with the source material as well. 

This latest retelling is contemporary and fun! Perfect for fans of the classics but also just a great modern-day suspense as well. So you don't need to have any familiarity with Jane Eyre or Rebecca—but it does absolutely make it more fun if you do!

The Wife Upstairs released on January 5 in both the US and the UK! Order a copy from your favorite indie via Bookshop (US/UK).


Anne said...

Huge thanks for your blog tour support Becky xx

Dianna said...

I went into this one blind, so it took me a while to figure out it was a retelling. I kept thinking, "this seems familiar..." hahaha