Audiobook, Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

The Family Upstairs

On Libby Jones 25th birthday, she receives a letter from a solicitor that unlocks the door leading to the answers about her past. She’s inherited a mansion owned by her late biological parents, Martina and Henry Lamb, Sr. But, she’s also learning the tragic circumstances that led to her being adopted when she was less than a year old. Her parents and a man with the initials DT were found dead in the house of an apparent joint suicide. Her brother and sister, Henry and Lucy, vanished and haven’t been seen or heard from since.

This was the ultimate creepy and psychologically unsettling story! Told from the points of view of Libby (named Serenity at birth), Lucy and Henry, Jr., the events leading up to what happened in that house are slowly revealed, transitioning from past to present. Most of the past is told by Henry, whose reliability was sometimes questionable, making the story even more intriguing. Lucy was the most mysterious as you can sense from her current circumstances that her life has been difficult and she’s continuing to struggle. Libby carries the weight of the present as she and a journalist, Miller Roe, try to untangle what happened in that house and to the Lamb family and others who were occupying that place.

I’m so glad I opted to listen to the story and that there were three separate narrators. Dominic Thorburn was outstanding as Henry, seeming to fit the character perfectly. All gave solid performances with distinction and it was helpful with the point of view transitions. It’s a slow burn kind of story as Henry tells how his wealthy family met their fate after having embraced another and slowly descended into something else. It lacks the punch of dramatic twists and turns but gets under your skin as the slow insinuation of these “guests” powerfully and irrevocably impact Lucy, Henry and ultimately Libby. I found it fascinating and while there are a couple of surprises at the final reveal, I saw some of them coming and the ending was so in line with the tone of the story. This was another Jewell hit for me, more subtle than earlier ones but still delivering that deft touch in mysterious storytelling.

Book Info

  • Release Date: November 5, 2019
  • Narrators: Tamaryn Payne, Bea Holland & Dominic Thorburn
  • Audio Length: 9 hours, 30 minutes
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio


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(Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

30 thoughts on “The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell”

      1. Her followers harassed me for a year as I had written a negative review. I was so new to bogging and every week or month, I had some reader blasting me for the review. It was torturous. So I stopped reading or at least reviewing it on my blog completely

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I have seen so many positive reviews of this one and every time I read about it, the premise makes me so curious about the circumstances which led to Libby being found. Guess I have to give in and download it! Not always a fan of multiple narrators, but when it works, it can be really good! Super review!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy her books a lot. I have read mixed reviews of this book, but do want to read it. My goal is to read one Christmas book, one mystery/thriller in December, so this one is in the chute. I hope I enjoy it as well as her others I have read.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This looks pretty good, although I’ve seen some mixed reviews.
    I read only one book by this author, back in the day when she wrote women’s fiction. I wasn’t a huge fan so never picked up her other work, but since then I think she really developed as an author so maybe I should give her another chance…

    Liked by 1 person

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