Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family UpstairsThe Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When Libby Jones turns 25 years old, she finally gets to open a letter she has been waiting for her whole life, for it contains the identification of her birth parents. Found at just 10-months old, at the scene of an apparent suicide pact, Libby was adopted out, never knowing her true identity.

Upon opening the letter she learns some startling news. Not just who her parents were but that she is inheriting their long-abandoned mansion in the swanky-Chelsea neighborhood in London; a house worth millions of pounds.

To Libby, working a mundane job designing kitchens, this is a blessed windfall. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances in which she was found at that very property, her windfall is also steeped in trepidation and fear.

Unknown to Libby, she really may have reason to be fearful, for others out there have been waiting for her 25th birthday as well, and they are planning a reunion. Lurking around the property, they await the baby’s return.

During the course of the book, we follow three different perspectives and both present and past timelines. I was definitely more intrigued by some sections of this book as opposed to others. This gave it a pacing issue for me personally and I felt the formatting was a bit wonky.

To be completely frank, I didn’t really find it interesting until about the 70% point and then I couldn’t put it down. Again, pacing issue. Unfortunately, that’s too much of a slow burn, even for me, the lover of slow burns, to give it a higher star rating.

There were entire portions at the beginning that I would have preferred to skip right over. Let’s say, anything set in France, I was bored to tears.

However, as mentioned above, the ending really did pick up and I think over all the story premise had a lot of promise, and for these reasons I bumped my rating up from around a 2.5 to a 3. This is a good book. I know a lot of readers will absolutely love it and I support that. It just wasn’t necessarily the perfect book for me.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Atria Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. I appreciate the opportunity!

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