Say Hello to Lisa Jewell’s Mystery, The Family Upstairs, a Complex, Mind-Bending Page-Turner

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A mind-bending. captivating read, Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs is a disturbing, complex and mysterious read in ways more than one. The Family upstairs is one of her finer works which I cannot even begin to predict.

So, to begin with, I have one simple term for this absolutely spellbinding read. Gobsmacked delightfully! Well, TBH I am as The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell was a truly satiating thriller read, a page-turner in every regard. With every chapter adding a new twist to the story, this one was a real rigmarole, leaving me in a qualm as to how well the story proceeds, what shall transpire next and several other questions which I felt every time I read further and further.

Libby who turns 25 receives communication of her inheritance of an 8-bedroom property in London, in the heart of Chelsea, where one would be presumably too excited to own a place. However, this superb acquaintance comes with its set of despair and dark pasts which are sinister as well as gruesome. Narrated from 3 POVs (point of view), running in past and present, the narrative encapsulates the views of Lucy, Henry as well as Libby who are the siblings in this case scenario. Things get stranger when the family drama elevates with the previous owners aka the Lambs, parents to Lucy and Henry allow David and his family to move into their home. David being the charming turn-on he appears to be, things start turning completely haywire when it becomes evident that David is not as nearly charming as he appears to be. Casting a seeming spell of sorts, his charm has captured all but Henry who isn’t falling for them. 

So, what is the mystery that threatens to thwart the peace equations for these people and whether they will be able to ever discover it and fight it off, read the book to find this thrilling tale of mystery and family drama controversies embroiled in much more than suspense and thrills?

Focusing on a highly dysfunctional family, agreed there are multiple characters to streamline and lay down properly but Lisa has pulled off this master feat with the practised hands of the expert who is a craftsman of sorts, simply waiting to pull off his craft and mastery, spell binding her audiences, putting them into wonder and thought after every twist and turn of the page. I, for one, was always on the lookout that something huge is about to happen and kept my eyes peeled throughout the reading. The iota of suspense and sense of foreboding coupled with the longing to know exactly where are we heading, was overpowering like fiery fuel. 

Although to be really honest with you guys, for me personally, the mystery seemed to somewhat fizzle out towards the end, possibly because I had anticipated an even more, denser sort of outcome. However, barring that I was “happy as a chicken”, jumping my way through the coils of thrill created by Lisa, bludgeoning the different elements of suspense she was delivering throughout, casting them away alongside her, to travel towards the apt end.

Starting with the idea of a place where cults are being run and followed and then culminating into someplace else-well the roller coaster was truly windy and awesome to bits!

The narrative is laid out along multiple timelines and points of view, when it finally started merging out towards the latter part, that is where I was like, finally all starting to string and make sense. It was a satiating to the yearning created right from the start by Lisa.

A solid, entertaining read, this one is entertaining, uncannily strange, and captivatingly complex yet will leave you gasping for fresh air in the end, once you know and discover the underlying truths and are out of the labyrinthine tunnels of mysterious happenings and facts created by Lisa, poised to dump you down a spiral of deep complex happenings, ones which appear as mere tiny specks of dirt on the surface, but in reality, are raging volcanoes, waiting to unfurl and unleash the horrors within them upon all those who dare to venture into their midst.  

 A superb read, a must-bookmark on your next TBR, a piece of advice, a cup of strong coffee, your favourite Hug toy and this book and I bet you to find me a better trio for company.

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The Family Upstairs

Neelam Sharma
Author: Lisa Jewell

Plot
Writing Style
Narrative
Climax
Characters

Summary

In a large house in London’s fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up. In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note. They’ve been dead for several days. Who has been looking after the baby? And where did they go? Two entangled families. A house with the darkest of secrets. A compulsive thriller from Lisa Jewell.

4.5

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla

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13 Comments

  1. Monidipa Dutta July 9, 2022 at 3:53 pm

    Well written, detailed review. The book seemed interesting to me. I’ll check it out.

    Reply
  2. Harjeet Kaur July 9, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    This sounds like a thriller. The excerpt in your summary itself is rivetting..I am no fan of thrillers, but this sounds very interesting from your review.

    Reply
  3. Sonia dogra July 9, 2022 at 10:13 pm

    I’ve heard so much about The Family Upstairs and now with your review I’m even more eager to lay my hands on it.

    Reply
    1. Smita Saksena July 11, 2022 at 10:10 am

      Very well penned down thorough review. The book seems like a must read. Going to read it soon.

      Reply
  4. Kaveri Chhetri July 10, 2022 at 3:36 pm

    Excellent review Neelam. Love your usage of words… your vocabulary. Your speciality is that u tell a lot but still hold back a lot too. It is kind of intriguing how u do that. Thanks for the review… the book was on my pipeline.

    Reply
  5. Neeta Kadam July 10, 2022 at 4:44 pm

    Seems very suspense thriller mystery. Your details are bang on, must read in my list.

    Reply
  6. Madhu Bindra July 10, 2022 at 6:00 pm

    I enjoy reading thrillers and going by your review, it looks like a must read. I am surely going to pick up the book.

    Reply
  7. Meetali Kutty July 10, 2022 at 6:12 pm

    Wow this seems like a super exciting book to read. Thanks so much for highlighting it, it is completely up my alley

    Reply
  8. Flavia Cutinho July 11, 2022 at 8:01 am

    Like the review intense and well explained

    Reply
  9. Kavita Singh July 11, 2022 at 11:47 am

    First of all, I absolutely love the picture. Well captured pictures do justice to the well written reviews. Secondly, I have not read a thriller in quite some time now but your review was quite intriguing, would love to pick it up for my next read 🙂

    Reply
  10. Ritu Bindra July 11, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Just my kind of book, Neelam. Your reviews are always a treat to read. And I love your recommendations.

    Reply
  11. Shail Thosani July 11, 2022 at 7:26 pm

    This is a thrilling book to read. With the rains onset I am in search for some exciting books to read with a cup of coffee. Will try this out as it is available on Kindle. Great review, thanks for the suggestion.

    Reply
  12. Noor Anand Chawla August 12, 2022 at 4:02 pm

    I like thrillers, will check this out. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Reply

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