Book Review: The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins was on my to read list FOREVER. I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy to read and review!

Goodreads Synopsis of The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}:

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.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past—or his—catches up to her?

My Review of The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}:

This book is a “modern retelling of Jane Eyre”. I read the original Jane Eyre over 20 years ago so I really can’t speak to the similarities and differences between them. However, I CAN say that one book is clearly known as a true classic and this one…well…I REALLY do not foresee the same for this one.

I really just didn’t like this book.

It was all a bit of a mess for me. Different perspectives, flashbacks thrown in the middle of current storylines, characters so unlikeable that I found myself not caring enough about what happened to any of them.

It’s like the first 200 pages were told in tidbits of stories and only in the last 90 pages did any of them start to make sense. Which is fine, but…what a boring first 200 pages of reading a book and not completely understanding what was going on.

This book just lacked so much depth. Depth in stories, depth in character development, depth in all of it.

It was only 290 pages but it took me so much longer than it should have to read because I was just so bored! As I was nearing the end (yaaaay) around midnight, I found myself closing the book with 5 pages left to finish in the morning. Who puts a THRILLER down with only 5 pages left??? That right there should tell you how bored I was with these characters and storylines.

Plus, I absolutely hated the writing style. Nope, not for me.

This book DID have 2 things that I quite enjoyed. A major twist that I did NOT see coming and…the cover art. I liked the cover art. Aaaaand that’s about it. I didn’t like anything else.

Bottom Line

This book had been on my to read list for so many months. Such a disappointment. Ugh.

Have you read this book? What did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!



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3 thoughts on “Book Review: The Wife Upstairs {Rachel Hawkins}

  1. I thoroughly agree with you! And who creates a panic room that don’t lock from THE INSIDE!! Its not a prison, its a safe place. Wanted to verify that someone else agreed with me. Thank you!


  2. Totally agree! I did not like the book. Poorly written, hated the characters, boring and no depth, no substance. Maybe the author had a good idea, but the execution was a mess.


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