Review: The Wife Upstairs [audiobook]

Title: The Wife Upstairs
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: January 5, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

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?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?


Jane is a dog walker in the gated community Thornfield Estates. The residents are so rich, that no one notices if she steals a piece of jewelry or knickknacks when picking up the dogs. Everything changes when Jane meets the recently widowed Eddie Rochester. His wife and her best friend went missing in a boating accident, and their bodies were never found. Since Eddie is a rich, handsome man, Jane sees him as her ticket out of her thieving lifestyle. As Jane and Eddie fall for each other, the mystery around his missing wife begins to resurface. Jane soon realizes nothing in Thornfield Estates is what it seems.

As soon as I saw the title of this book, I knew it was going to be about Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is one of my favourite classic novels. Some knowledge of that book would be helpful when reading this one, to notice all of the references. However, it could also be read as a thriller on its own without reading Jane Eyre. Since I knew Jane Eyre, I had predicted what was going to happen at the end, but there was a twist I didn’t see coming.

This audiobook was great. It had three different narrators for the three different characters that narrated the novel. It made it easy to tell the characters apart since they had different voices. I sometimes find that I lose interest in an audiobook while listening to it and I get distracted doing something else. This one held my interest the whole time, and I never got distracted while listening to it.

This is such a great thriller!

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell

Have you read The Wife Upstairs? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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