Monday, January 18, 2021

Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

The Wife Upstairs
By Rachel Hawkins
My Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

Jane is living a lie: having fled Arizona, she is seeking a better life under an alias in Alabama. She is working as a dog walker, living with someone she knew from one of her stints in foster care, despite him being creepy. She knows that this is just a temporary stepping stone to a better spot. Enter Eddie, a grieving widower, having lost his wife in a tragic boating accident some months back. He and Jane are instantly attracted to each other, and soon they are involved in a whirlwind romance.

His first wife was Bea, they met on vacation in Hawaii. She had a less than ideal childhood, but she made something of herself becoming a successful business owner. She and Eddie along with her best friend and her husband Tripp lived in Thornfield Estates, an exclusive gated community with custom built homes. From the outside, everything seemed perfect, but as readers we are quick to learn that looks are deceptive.

This book is told through multiple points-of-view, including Jane, Bea, and Eddie. It jumps back and forth leading readers to the ending, which may or may not feel ambiguous to some. If you are not fan of these type of endings, then you may want stir clear of this one, but if you are fan of these type of ambiguous endings then you would probably like this one--especially if you are a fan of multiple points-of-view. As far as the characters go, I cannot say I like any of them, but again, this feel intentional on the author’s part—I was not sure who I wanted to ultimately “succeed” at the end of the story. 

For those of you like who are school librarians, this is not overly graphic in sexual content--it is there, but not explicit. There is some violence, drinking (again all adults in this one), and frank conversations dealing with mature content--murder for instance--but even with all this, I am leaning towards putting this in my high school collection as I have some adult fiction in it and I do have teachers who check books out from my collection frequently at the minimum. If one of my middle school students happen upon it (I am in a 7th-12th grade building), I would let them know that it is only adult characters, slower pace, deals with marriage troubles--just so they know what they are taking out. Overall, this is one of those books that I liked, but it was not a home run for me--but who knows, it may be for you. 

Do you agree or disagree? Let me know your thoughts below. 

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