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The Family Upstairs

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  3,730 ratings  ·  986 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author and master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immedi
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ebook, 432 pages
Published August 8th 2019 by Cornerstone Digital (first published August 6th 2019)
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,730 ratings  ·  986 reviews


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Dita
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 10 hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good.

We're ordering pizza tonight.

Sorry, not sorry.

Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little while because p
...more
Chelsea Humphrey
"It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did.

We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend."


"It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did.

We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend."


description

Gather round children, and lend an ear. If you are on the gothic psychological suspense train, and you're looking for something to read in the same vein as Ruth Ware or V.C. Andrews, then this is your stop. The Family Upstairs is unsettling, atmospheric, and dare I say a tad bit taboo? 😏 I find those three traits to be the trifecta of a devilishly chilling read, and if you're like me, this needs to be on your must read list.

The reader determines quickly that the narrative is structured through three different points of view, although we aren't told how they correlate until later in the story, and this works extremely well here. I honestly don't think the story would have been quite the same if any minor tweaking had been done to the particular perspectives we are privy to, as we get just enough information into the past and present to answer all the major questions, while also allowing the reader to use their imagination to fill in some minor blanks as well. If you're the type of person who doesn't like an open-ended story, but also isn't a fan of the neat and tidy package upon conclusion, you'll appreciate what Jewell has done with this story.

I'm aware it's already been mentioned above, but I can't emphasize enough what a delight it was to read a story that felt like a modern day V.C. Andrews novel. Obviously the similarities in dysfunctional family dynamics and suffocating atmosphere of the gothic tone are clear, but there are so many minor easter eggs that felt a tribute to that unique style of storytelling. The overall vibe of this one feels much darker than Lisa's previous novels, but I think she's taken a leap of faith in good conscience and found that she writes just as well in this genre as she does in domestic suspense and women's fiction.

Yes, yes, I've kept this review vague, spoiler free, and frustratingly neutral in tone, but that's only because I'd like for you to have the chance to read this book for yourself without any influence from my thoughts. If you're a fan of the author's previous novels, you definitely need to read this. If you're new to her work, this is a GREAT piece to start with. The characters are wonderfully flawed, the story is unpredictable, and the unsettling nature of the content inside is sure to chill even the most experienced reader of psychological thrillers. Highly recommended!

*Many thanks to the publisher for providing my review copy!
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Maureen
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Imagine inheriting an eight bedroom property in London’s SW3 - in the heart of Chelsea - it’s an area of multi million pound homes - well let’s face it, you’d be over the moon to say the least. This wonderful inheritance is Libby Jones 25th birthday present, but the house (or mansion to be precise) is pretty dilapidated, and it has a very sinister past too.

Told from the points of view of Libby, Lucy, and Henry, in both the past and present, this compelling family drama begins with th
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Meredith
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
3.5 stars

The Family Upstairs is a compulsively readable psychological thriller that features multiple storylines, three POV’s, an unreliable narrator, a sociopath, several mysteries, many murders, a crazy cult, a sick obsession, and much more! Needless to say, there’s a whole lot going on.


When Libby, who was adopted when she was a baby, discovers that she will inherit a mansion on her 25th birthday, she is stunned. She wants to know more about her birth parents and why she is the sole he/>The
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Paromjit
Lisa Jewell ventures into horror infested psychological thriller territory in this disturbing and unsettling novel. 25 years ago in Chelsea, London, the police enter 16 Cheyne Walk, the mansion of the wealthy Lambs, the home of the famous Martina, wife, model and mother, with her young children, Henry and Lucy. What they discover is the dead, decomposing bodies of the Lamb parents, and that of another mystery man, with a note that suggests a cult suicide, but strangely they find a 10 month old b ...more
Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*
2.5 stars rounded up to 3 stars.

This book was very confusing too me so I am just going to use the blurb as the plot. I thought it was written well.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but als
...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author which I have previously read were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the character ...more
Kaceey
Well, it looks as though I may be in the minority on this one!

Libby is shocked after being notified she’s just inherited a massive house. One that comes with a mysterious and tragic history.
Libby was found abandoned as a baby in this home. Having been adopted, Libby has since blossomed into a 25 year old, well-adjusted, content young lady. Anxious to keep her life moving along on the timetable she’s set for herself.

Well, Miss Libby...this new inheritance thing may just change up your original life pl
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Nilufer Ozmekik
3.25 confused, restless, is it fair enough to give lower points because you’re die-hard fan of Lisa Jewell fan question flying over my head, creepy, oh those guests should urgently get the hell out of the house stars!

Personally, honestly, I love this author’s work starting from “Watching you”, “Then she was gone”, “I found you”. She is the master evil queen of thrillers taken place in creepy houses and the characters formed in dysfunctional families who have unresolved issues.

So
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Holly  B
3.5 STARS

Lisa Jewell is one of my favorite authors! 

I have read all of her thrillers and my expectations were so high for her newest (possibly too high).  I love how she writes, builds tension, and weaves a story.

Her books are so easy to read and fall into. This one did seem a bit too long though and I was beginning to tire of the complex plot. It focuses on a highly dysfunctional family and there are a lot of characters to sort out.  It took some time before I was able to make all the connections, b(possibly/>
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Susanne  Strong
3 Stars.

Creepy and Disturbing. Par for the Course with Lisa Jewell, Right?!

The Past: Houseguests. They are never pleasant. Unless they are temporary. For a family living in a mansion in Chelsea, a ringing of the doorbell signals a whole host of changes that influences their entire lives, forever. Call it dark, eerie and downright strange.

The Present: On Libby Jones’ twenty-fifth birthday, she inherits a house. Not just any house, a mansion in Chelsea. Though dilapidated and vacant, it/>Creepy
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Jasmine from How Useful It Is
This book is a great read! Definitely different. I can’t decide if I’m annoyed or fascinated by it all. I’m annoyed that the owner of the house lose control so easily yet I’m fascinated how people are good at manipulating other people into doing things they don’t normally do. I enjoyed reading Lucy’s life with her children but not so much with her memory of Michael. Her memory reminds me of the book Behind Closed Doors, though I rather action instead of mostly recollection. I like Libby’s invest ...more
Dem
Forgettable and Disappointing read that started with great promise but became bogged down with too many characters and a story that went around in circles


I started out really enjoying this book as I was intrigued by premise;
Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones receives the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with the excitement of what it contains about her past " I am finally going to know who I am"
She soon learns not only the identity of her birth pare/>
Soon
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PamG
THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS by Lisa Jewell is told from the point of view of three characters: Libby, Henry and Lucy as well as two time periods. Libby Jones has turned twenty-five and receives a letter that tells her the identity of her birth parents and that she has inherited their old mansion in a ritzy area of London.

The plot is set mainly in England and France. Twenty-five years ago, the police found a baby and three dead adults in the mansion. The other people that lived there are gone, includ
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James
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell was one of my favorites so far this year. I've read several of her other books, and for me, this one is the best yet. I devoured the book in two chunks, one larger read in the afternoon and the other shortly before bed. I couldn't fall asleep for at least an hour as my mind continued to process everything that had happened in the complicated and messy (in a good way) tale.

There are 3 main voices in the novel: Lucy, a runaway/homeless mother of two;
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Carolyn
Jul 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eleven year old Henry Lamb and his younger sister live in a beautiful Chelsea mansion with their wealthy and glamorous parents. His life is full of treats and outings and top private schools. But one day his mother invites a young woman to stay for a few days and slowly things start to change until Henry's world is one he no longer recognises. It will all end badly as the police discover when they break into the house to find three dead adults and a baby alone in her cot. Older children were rum ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2019, since I’m a huge Lisa Jewell fan. For me this book was a frustrating read. The four other novels by this author were favorites of mine and I never had any problems with the flow of the story. This book has so many characters, switches back and forth in time and I found the characters, with the exception of Libby, to be unpredictable and not very believable. In the beginning I actually took notes to keep the characters straight!

The bl
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Marialyce
Yes, indeed a Lisa Jewell book is one that I am always drawn to for they always possess intrigue and mystery and with the right amount of scare factor. So I was over the top happy when I received an advanced copy of Ms Jewell's newest outing.

Ms Jewell has again embarked on the creepy trial of a family taken under the spell of a charismatic (we are told) man and his small entourage. As the story begins we find ourselves deep into the mystery involving three decomposing bodies and the ten month
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Gabby
Oh gosh I truly don’t understand the hype this book has already received. I absolutely love Lisa Jewell, I consider her one of my favorite authors; this was one of my most anticipated book releases of the year. I feel like this book was just so uninteresting and definitely my least favorite book from her yet.

This might be a “it’s not the book it’s me” situation cause everyone else seems to be loving the hell out of this, but I felt so disappointed and bored by this book. In typical Lisa Jewel fashion we
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NZLisaM
Sixteen Cheyne Walk – a twelve-room, three-storey house, in the affluent suburb of Chelsea, South West London, overlooking the River Thames.

In 1994, the scene of senseless tragedy, and to this day a baffling mystery.

Three decomposing bodies in the kitchen – the owners Henry and Martina Lamb, and an unidentified man – victims of an apparent suicide, thought to be living in cult-like circumstances. They have been dead for several days. Upstairs, a baby – healthy, alive, happy. The La
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Aga Durka
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Lisa Jewell’s books, I read them all, and I recommend them to anyone that will listen. The Family Upstairs is another great book and I am so happy I got to read it over the weekend because otherwise I would have to call in sick to work...I just could not stop reading. I was fully engrossed in the story and there was no way I was able to do any real life chores.
A well-written story with Lisa Jewell’s unique style. It is creepy, disturbing, atmospheric, and it kept me guessing till th
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Nicki
May 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Family Upstairs is a mesmerising,enthralling domestic drama/thriller about brother and sister Henry and Lucy Lamb and how swiftly their young lived descended into a living nightmare after two strangers moved into the opulent home in Chelsea that Henry and Lucy shared with their socialite mother and father. A nightmare that culminated with the death of three people and the discovery of a abandoned ten month old baby in the almost empty shell of a once loving family home.

It's also
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Mark
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book I read in one sitting with breaks to go out in the sun ( kindle taken ) and Irn Bru top ups ( and maybe bikkies too!! )
From page 1 it demanded to be read, drew me in and there was nothing I could do until I had finished it ( and what a last line!!!) , this powerfully dramatic story of family life had me completely under its spell from the first sentence
A tale of wealth living in the most luxurious house in Chelsea to sleeping under motorway brdges in France, jealousy, love, dy
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Katie B
I had high expectations for this one because I've read and enjoyed most of Lisa Jewell's books. This one did not disappoint and it's tied with Watching You as my favorite book by the author.

Libby Jones was adopted and after she turns 25 years old she finds out she has inherited an old mansion from her birth family. The home has an unfortunate history though. Twenty-five years ago police were called to the home where they found an abandoned baby and three dead bodies. It was rumored four other c
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Jayme
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Twenty Five years ago, SOMETHING happened at 16 Cheyne Walk.

When police arrived, they found three dead bodies in the kitchen and upstairs, a 10 month old baby cooing happily in her crib. The other four children who were reported as living there, were gone.

Libby Jones has just turned 25, and has NO idea that she is about to inherit 16 Cheyne Walk.

"The Baby has just turned 25"

But, Lucy and Henry DO.

The story is told from these three alternating perspectives, and as is usually the case when bo
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Pauline
May 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Henry, his sister and his parents live a very privileged lifestyle in a large house in London. When he is twelve years old things start to change. His parents stop going out and stop spending money as readily as they always had. Then people come to stay. Little by little the house starts to feel like it no longer belongs to his family and Henry is not happy.
This story has quite a few twists and turns and things are not always as they seem.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House UK, C
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Carolyn
Sep 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC in return for an honest review. This was unlike previous domestic thrillers I have read by Lisa Jewell. Reading this book was an unsettling experience. I found it a chilling and uncomfortable story, but so compelling that I was riveted to the pages. There was a sinister and menacing aspect which permeated this book.

Themes involved search for identity, family issues, reconciliation, poverty and great wealth, physical and emotional abuse.
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Dita
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-by-request
432 engrossing pages of pure psychopathic heaven and I read every one of them in the last 1o hours. I have been walking around our house all day resenting anyone in my family who needed me for anything...this book is THAT good.

We're ordering pizza tonight.

Sorry, not sorry.

Don't worry if, as you start this, you feel a little confused by the introduction of different characters and different time periods, it only feels like you don't know what's going on and it only lasts a little wh
...more
Dennis
In the last couple of years, Lisa Jewell has been getting a lot of notoriety in the publishing world. Her last couple of novels have been massive hits in both the UK and USA, and I know that The Family Upstairs will be her biggest hit yet. This book sets the bar for the phrase "unputdownable!" The synopsis explains the story well: Libby Jones has just turned 25 and has inherited a house. Not just any house, but a mansion on the block of one of London's most exclusive neighborhoods. Libby, is in fact, ...more
Kendall
Well it looks like I'm going to be the minority in this one folks... yet again!

So... I was very confused by this book and couldn't keep track of all the characters. The Family Upstairs is a slow burn... I mean very slow burn of a book. I was completed lost in the beginning and just was beyond bored to be honest.

Finally, things started making sense but it unfortunately wasn't what I had hoped or expected from Lisa Jewell's usual talent. This really was missing the magic for me that a
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The Theme Thieves: Discussion- Oct 19: The Family Upstairs 1 17 Oct 01, 2019 01:18AM  
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Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & ...more