? Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Posted on February 22, 2021 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 28 Comments

? Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel HawkinsTitle: The Wife Upstairs
Author(s): Rachel Hawkins
Narrator(s): Emily Shaffer, Kirby Heyborne, Lauren Fortgang
Published by Macmillan Audio on January 5, 2021
Length: 8 hrs 40 mins
Genre(s): Psychological Thriller
Source: Netgalley
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

At the time I listened to The Wife Upstairs, I did not know it was a retelling of Jane Eyre. Not that it would have made much of a difference, as I never read Jane Eyre. 

I had an interesting time with this twisty and diabolical tale. The deeper I went into the story, I thought I knew how it would all play out. It turned out I was way off mark. 

The story introduces Jane, (not her actual name) a broke dog walker, with an affinity for taking things which don’t belong to her. She recently moved to Birmingham, Alabama, where she walks dogs in the affluent Thorton Estates. One day while carrying out her job she met Eddie, a charming and of course rich widower. This made him the perfect candidate to aid in uplifting her social status. Eddie’s wife Bea along with her best friend died in a boating accident a year ago and their bodies have yet to be found. However, Eddie is ready to move on and Jane provided the perfect opportunity.

Jane proved to be a calculating and rather captivating character. I had an interesting time being in her head. Her actions and thoughts never ceased to amaze me.

Personally, I had a hard time buying into the relationship between Eddie and Jane. First off, I didn’t trust him. He gave off some real negative vibes.

As the story progressed, the events surrounding the fatal boat accident came to light. The revelations proved quite shocking.

Even paced and compelling, the story made it difficult to set my listening device aside. I would definitely read more from this author.

I enjoyed the narration, which involved the use of three narrators. Namely Lauren Fortgang, Kirby Hayborne, and Emily Shaffer. This was my first time listening to all three, and I thought they did an excellent job in bringing the story to life.

Overall, The Wife Upstairs was an engaging listen and one I would recommend readers/listeners looking for a twisty ride. 

Story Evaluation
World Building
Writing Style
Narrator (Audio)
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins delivered a compelling, addictive and twisty tale, which readers/listeners of thrilling stories would enjoy. #psyhcologicalthriller, #newrelease #audio Click To Tweet

About Rachel Hawkins

Rachel Hawkins is a former teacher who left teaching to take a chance and get serious about finishing that book she’d always wanted to write. Her first book, Hex Hall, was the result of that leap of faith. She’s a graduate of Auburn University in Alabama and lives with her husband and son in Alabama.

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28 responses to “? Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

  1. Robin Loves Reading

    Excellent review. I read the Kindle version of this book. I’m interested to see how the audio version would sound.

  2. I love that this was so twisty that it surprised you good. 🙂 I’ve listened to Kirby Hayborne and liked his voice, but the others are new to me. Fun that it’s a Jane Eyre retelling.