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Book Review: The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

WHAT DID I JUST READ?! That was my constant thought while I was reading and after I finished this story. I didn't expect all of the plot twists and I while I was trying to connect one of the character's past with their present, another unexpected twist would catch me completely out of guard. The story is messed up and fun to read. I read it in one sitting because I really was trying to understand what was going on.

The Family Upstairs tells the story of a family who lived in this pretty, rich house. However, in that house very dark things started happening when outsiders started moving in and causing havoc among the original owners. The story revolves around the kids of the house and what happened after the parents and guardians died in result of a "cult suicide" (or that's what everyone believes happened." The story is told in 3 POVs: the baby that was left in the house when the parents died and she is now 25 and ready to receive her inheritance, a now woman who was a child when the whole drama occurred, and a man who was also one of the kids in the house. The story is interesting because since the children changed their names, you really don't know who is who and who is related to whom. Hence, that is part of the mystery. Additionally, while Libby and Lucy's POVs are told in the person and in 3rd person, we have Henry's POV in 1st person and he's telling the story of the past and what happened. This juxtaposition of past vs present really unravels and makes the story come alive.

However, what makes the most of the "wow" factors in the book is Henry's POV. You soon start to realize he isn't as stable as he paints himself to be and you find this out by juxtaposing his version of the truth with the facts of the present.

Apart from that the story is very dark as you get to relive what these children went through as a cult started living in their homes. They were malnourished and kept of out society. They grew up thinking that this David person was giving their money and items to the poor when in reality he was just keeping it for himself. You also learn of horrible sexual relationships that David was having and these children were having due to their trauma and experience in the cult.

This psychological thriller left me really unraveled and excited to read the second book because it does leave some questions unanswered and some plot lines unresolved.

Overall rating: 4 stars

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