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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell #BookReview

You thought they were just staying for the weekend. They looked harmless enough – with only two suitcases and a cat in a wicker box. But soon things turn very, very dark. It happens slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly. Now you and your sister must find a way to survive…

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell book cover

Title: The Family Upstairs | Author: Lisa Jewell | Publisher: Century | Pub. Date: 8 August 2019 | Pages: 464 | ISBN: 9781780899213 | Genre: Thriller| Language: English | Triggers: Rape (not graphic)| Rating: 4 out of 5 | Source: NetGalley

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The Family Upstairs Review

Oh my word. This book was sooooo messed up, and I was *mostly* here for it.

The book cycles through three different POV, as well as flicking from past to future (depending on which POV you were in), this built tension and drama really well for me, but could also be confusing in working out where I was (in time/place) or whose section I was actually reading. Despite this, I felt compelled to read on to figure out what was going to happen next, most excited to cycle back to my favourite POV (Henry’s) so I could learn what on earth was going on and who this family upstairs was!

I found I didn’t really know what was going to happen, which was refreshing in a thriller for me. Often when thrillers try so hard to provide you with twists, they miss the mark, so I was glad about how this one unfolded. Unfortunately, it lost a star, because for some reason that I can’t really put my finger on, it was annoying me at the same time as me kind of enjoying it. Does this ever happen to you or is it just me?! I’m also not as hyped these days for the unreliable narrator trope as I used to be since certain books kind of killed it for me, but I did enjoy how this one was done.

This is my first read by Lisa Jewell; I honestly didn’t know what I was expecting and I was pleasantly surprised with what I read. I’ll definitely be reading more by her in future. The book was written really well and for the most part, I didn’t want to put it down, in particular the last 30%ish of the book which I stayed up way later than usual to read, purely to get my answers!

4 stars!

You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on GoodReads (Buying direct from retailers is a good way to support indie authors); however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inBook ReviewsStarred ReviewsThriller Book Reviews


  1. I enjoyed this book too. A tad bit disappointed with the ending though 😛
    Check my review @

  2. Olga Nunez Miret

    Sounds great! I’ve been wondering about reading this author for a while. Thanks for the recommendation.

    • Sian

      You will let me know how you get on if you do!!

  3. I love messed up! This is going on my list.

    • Sian

      hahaha then you are in for a treat!

  4. Great review, I’m very intrigued by this now but I’m really not keen on multiple POV’s, I get so confused with books like that! 🤪

    • Sian

      It can be quite confusing, but it just takes some getting used to! I do prefer them when the chapter names tell you when or who just so you don’t have to read a few paragraphs to figure it out!

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