Cover Image: The Family Upstairs

The Family Upstairs

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Member Reviews

Anyone invited in to 16 Cheyne Walk SW3 would be well advised not to drink the Kool Aid, especially if young Henry mixed it for you. Not of course that you would be invited in, as neighbours will attest, they thought it a reclusive religious retreat. Religious it wasn't but a new age retreat? Possibly. However, in a surprising twist, it was the charasmatic leader and his acolytes who unwittingly partook of the poison and in so doing, gave freedom to the children living there. What follows is a fascinating story of interconnected lives, sometimes separated by decades.
Although The Family Upstairs was on my reading list, for some strange reason I must have overlooked it and read its sequel The Family Remains first. Read in the correct order it may have diffused some of the relationship complexity but I rather liked seeing a few loose ends being tidied up as a result of my chronological incompetency. That's not to say it wasn't without puzzlement especially when it came to Michael Rimmer's death.
Anyway, if you want to be entertained for many hours, maybe imagine yourself as a ghost in Cheyne Walk listening in to all that went on there, these books are for you.
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The family upstairs by Lisa Jewell. 
In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up.In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note.They've been dead for several days.Who has been looking after the baby?
And where did they go?
A brilliant read.  Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Love Lisa books.  5*.
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Wow, what a rollercoaster of a read!  I was literally sitting on the edge of the sofa reading this.  Recommended for anyone that enjoys a good suspenseful novel.
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Thank you to the publisher for my eARC copy of this book. Unfortunately I didn’t love this book and therefore didn’t finish, I just didn’t connect with this one. Not for me, sorry.
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🌟 Jewell is one of my absolute favourites & somehow she managed to surpass my already very high expectations with this outing - I think her very best yet!
🌟 It grips you from page one & doesn't let you go until you have turned the very last page.
🌟 The tension is build up is nerve wrangling.⠀
🌟  The rehearings & wrong paths you get led down keep you guessing till the end. ⠀
🌟 The way the characters weave together to that ending was jaw-dropping in the best way. I cannot wait for the sequel!
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I have to admit I have passed over this book a few times in my search for my next read purely due to the whole cult theme which is the basis for the novel; it's a subject I have to be in the right mindset to read about. Although in this book it is less of an obvious cult which takes over the property in Chelsea, more of a very devious, manipulative man taking advantage of an extremely vulnerable couple.

There are two timeframes within the book: the present day with a young lady named Libby inheriting the aforementioned property in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea and the historical background to the house in the late 1980s when Henry and Martina Lamb bought it and the ensuing horrors which unfolded. There is also another thread in the present day with Lucy and her children living a hand to mouth existence in the Cote d'Azur; homeless and struggling to get by it's left to the reader to try and piece together how this little unfortunate family unit fits in.

I have to admit I kept getting Libby and Lucy confused - I do wish authors would use completely different names for their characters as it doesn't take much for me to get muddled, especially at the beginning of a book where I'm settling the characters in to my head and getting the foundations of the storyline fixed in place. Once I got past that issue I have to say I didn't really gel with any of the people involved. On one hand I felt sorry for them and their circumstances/misfortunes but on the other I needed them to take responsibility for what they were doing. And then there's David Thomsen, evil personified. I cannot tell you how much I disliked this man. Therefore a character well-written. I don't think the man did a nice deed throughout his time in the book and I have to admit to wanting to hug Henry for his determination in trying to remove David from the house. It was just unfortunate that the knock on effect had such dire consequences.  

I'm not sure about the ending of the book, it all seemed to fit a bit too nicely for all that had gone before and it is only the fact that I know the sequel is coming which makes me happy with its conclusion. It doesn't feel like the end, more of a pause, and I am so glad that Lisa Jewell is giving us more to the story to perhaps give us a more comfortable closure for the story. I can't wait for The Family Upstairs 2 and certainly won't be leaving it on the shelf as long after publication as I did book one!
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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell was a brilliant read and i was hooked within the first few pages I loved it, it's full of unexpected twists and turns,. This is the first book I have read by Lisa and I am hoping to read more of her books in the future.
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I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book. It kept me guessing from the beginning and had lots of twists, a definite must read.
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Lisa Jewell is my go to author and I have read everything she has ever written but I did not enjoy this one at all. Found the storyline hard to follow and could not connect with the characters.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this book

cant fault a lisa jewell book and this one is mind blowing, right up until the last page...cant wait for the next one from this author
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I've read two Lisa Jewell books on the trot: this one followed The Night She Disappeared, which was my introduction to this author. And obviously, I was impressed enough to dive straight into another of her books.

This book has a couple of similarities: present-tense narrative (a stultifying bad choice), and a story told over two time frames. Okay, only two similarities and I may have coincidentally plucked two books from Jewell's works with the same ones, but it has wobbled my fandom just a smidge, if that's her m.o.

Adoptee, Libby, receives a life-changing letter on her twenty-fifth birthday in which she discovers her birth parents' identity and, more dramatically, that she has inherited a multi-million Chelsea mansion. A mansion that holds dark, life-changing secrets, secrets of events that took place twenty-five years earlier. What happened to the three dead bodies found in the kitchen? Why is there a healthy baby, alone, in a cot? Where are the other children neighbours said lived there? And what does it all mean for Libby?

It's a very compelling story with some extraordinarily compelling characters, and it's well told…for the most part: there were gaps and some 'what, really???' moments. Nevertheless, I did find myself eager to pick it up and read on. I'm not quite sure how I thought it would end, but it was all a bit too 'tidy'. Just a bit too happily ever after.

But…I did enjoy it. Jewell is quite the writer and, though you might not actually like some of her characters, she certainly gives them depth and dimension. When you can conjure up image a character in your head, that's certainly testament to a well-crafted portrayal.
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Lisa Jewell one of my favourite authors didn't disappoint with 'The Family Upstairs'.  It was a wonderful read from start to finish and kept me going back for more.  The hard to deal with start of the story, then all the various twists and turns were so well done that it took me only two days to reach the finale - I could not put the book down.  A great book well written by a great author.  Thoroughly recommend.
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Libby Jones knew that on her 25th birthday she would inherit a mansion in Chelsea and her overriding belief that she would truly discover who she was. This is another great read by Lisa Jewell and does not disappoint .Told from the points of view of Libby, Lucy, and Henry, in both the past and present, this compelling family drama begins with the previous owners of the house. The Lamb’s are a wealthy couple with two children, Henry and Lucy. Who decide to allow David and his family to move into their home, their lives will be turned completely upside down, because David isn’t nearly as charming as he appears to be and will soon have the family under his spell, all except for Henry. 
This is a very chilling tale with many mysteries, as the three narrators stories begin to thread together, bringing us ever closer to the main mystery the tension had me on the edge of my seat never knowing which way everything was going.
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I enjoyed the mystery element of the plot and spent a lot of the book wondering how the stories would connect. My only gripe is that it wasn't what I expected from the blurb. I was anticipating more of a modern thriller centred around the baby in the cot and the bodies upstairs whereas in reality, it flipped between the past and present. The book was good despite that, especially after the first few chapters but the jumping around might put some people off.
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Not for me.  Jumped around a lot, unbelievable that intelligent people would allow detrimental things to happen and continue in their lives, Written from the perspective of three people.
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I really enjoyed this novel, which combined a bit of a mystery and a bit of a thriller with a dysfunctional family thrown in. We slowly piece together the story of the seemingly average family who end up having a megalomaniac move in with them. Years later, Libby inherits the house but knows nothing about it except that her parents died there. Along with a journalist they try to find out the true story. 

Really readable and gripping, obviously far-fetched but still enjoyable!
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In theory, this sounds like a thriller that's right up my street. I was so excited when I was approved to read this via NetGalley. But then I started and... well...

Have you ever read a blurb and it blows you away, only for you to start reading it and the book doesn't live up to the blurb? Well, that's what I had. And because of that, I feel a little let-down and a tad cheated. 

I expected a modern-day thriller about a baby being discovered in a cot, healthy and well, while three decomposing bodies are in the kitchen and the unfolding of it. 

In reality, I got a woman discovering she was the baby in the cot on her 25th birthday, a second mystery woman in south of France with an alert of her phone saying "The baby is 25" and a third narrator who was in the house leading up to the event. 

And while I got a sense of unease and "something's not quite right here" vibes, I felt a little bored. I expected twists and turns almost right off the bat and yet... 

Maybe I built this up in my head. Maybe I was misread the blurb. Maybe the blurb tricked me in some way. Whatever the reason, this title just wasn't for me.
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I usually enjoy Lisa Jewel books amd, until The Invisible Girl thougtht there was a sort of overall theme to them, however different,
This novel is a breathtaking rollercoaster that is very different from anything else of hers I’ve read.
Set predominantly in a luxurious Chelsea house, it is surprising the depredation that can take place there. The present day veers between the South of France and St Albans.  The former on a shoestring stretched so tightly than even a shower is a military operation and the dog gets included in the ablutions too.The St Albans narrator is a middle class career girl who is somewher between the other two. With three different narrators this avoids the usual clumsy shifting of time and the story just flows
To discuss more risks revealing too much and spoiling the shocks along the way.  It is really clever how what appears predictable is not so.  From a newspaper report of a cult suicide pact comes a story of so many deeper layers.
This is much darker than I expected - but oh so un put downable,
I really recommend it to both existing aficionados and those who will become so on the strength of reading this book
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I am in charge of the senior library and work with a group of Reading Ambassadors from 16-18 to ensure that our boarding school library is modernised and meets the need of both our senior students and staff. It has been great to have the chance to talk about these books with our seniors and discuss what they want and need on their shelves. I was drawn to his book because I thought it would be something different from the usual school library fare and draw the students in with a tempting storyline and lots to discuss. 
This book was a really enjoyable read with strong characters and a real sense of time and place. I enjoyed the ways that it maintained a cracking pace that kept me turning its pages and ensured that I had much to discuss with them after finishing. It was not only a lively and enjoyable novel but had lots of contemporary themes for our book group to pick up and spend hours discussing too.
I think it's important to choose books that interest as well as challenge our students and I can see this book being very popular with students and staff alike; this will be an excellent purchase as it has everything that we look for in a great read - a tempting premise, fantastic characters and a plot that keeps you gripped until you close its final page.
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I’ve had this book on my ‘To Be Read’ list for so long I wondered if I would ever get round to reading it!  A quiet Bank Holiday Monday gave me the opportunity to start the audiobook version while I was pottering around the house.  Four hours later and I realised I had listed to almost half of the book, and hadn’t really done an awful lot of anything else!  I also had it in hardback version, so when I got to the point where it wasn’t practical to listen, I picked it up and began to read instead!  The book completely captivated me and by the end of the day, I’d finished it!!

I’ve read other books by this author and to be honest some have captured me, others haven’t.  I was definitely hooked into this book only a few chapters in.  Told from the perspective of three different characters – Libby, Henry and Lucy – the story switches between their stories over the years, with Henry’s story telling us about his childhood and Libby and Lucy’s from present day.  Libby’s story caught me first with a mystery inheritance and the shocking story of the reasons behind her adoption.  I loved her character and really felt for her, not knowing the true story behind her being found as a baby.  Henry’s story from 25 years previously filled in a lot of the gaps as his story moved along.  I also liked Lucy’s character, and again she was one that I really felt for as more of her story was revealed.  We aren’t really given any firm evidence as to how these three people are connected, but you begin to make your own deductions from the information you are slowly given in the storyline.

The story twists and turns throughout the whole book revealing shocking and upsetting pasts for all of them.  Towards the end of the book, the story is well and truly fixed in the present day with all of the loose ends being tied up.  It still wasn’t finished there though, and there was still lots of changes of direction!  I was completely captivated by the story and all my guesses as to where it was heading proved to be wrong!  For me, the last paragraph sent shivers down my spine, but it was definitely the perfect ending to the book!

If you love a psychological thriller, then this is definitely the book for you.  It will keep you second guessing, questioning every creak of the floorboards and biting your nails, with the suspense and mystery kept high throughout!  As I started it on an audiobook, a quick reference to this version wouldn’t go amiss!!  The audio narration is great with each of the three main characters being narrated by different people, helping you work out who is who, and where you are in the timeline.  The narrators put so much emotion into their reading, which is why it had me so transfixed for my audio time!  Whether you read or listen, it’s a great book and I would definitely recommend it!  Loved it!!
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