The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

5 Stars from me

What a fabulous book! The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell is a really refreshing and original read – it is literally brimming with layered storylines which pull you along as you turn the pages ever more equally enthralled and appalled.

At one point it literally felt as though the story contained no redeeming characters at all (except Miller, he was ace) as greater wickedness, selfishness, abuse and depravity unfolded. Wow what appalling people the Thomsens were and how utterly weak the Lambs.

The Family Upstairs has it all, the reader is taken on a veritable roller coaster ride as Libby finds herself a millionaire (isn’t that child’s dream scenario?) but also uncovers a million questions about her family and exactly what went on in Cheyne Walk. The cult style takeover of the Thomsens was horrible and yet must be some true to what actually happens in those type of situations that we know are all too real. The children who live in the house – whether Lambs or Thomsens are dark souls and I guess a sad product of their awful environment. Across the pond, Lucy’s tale is equally unpleasant and we follow her along the way as all roads seem to lead the Cheyne Walk and the 25th birthday of ‘the baby’.

Brilliant characterisation throughout and an utterly gripping – if a little disturbing – read.

Synopsis: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…

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I Found You by Lisa Jewell

4 Stars from me

I wasn’t at all sure what to expect from this book. My boys bought it for me for mothers day 🙂

It turned out to be a 50/50 mix of chic lit and thriller.

The reason it gets 4 stars from me rather than 5 is probably because of the chic lit element, it just isn’t my preferred style.

It is a really clever storyline, with 3 threads running concurrently throughout the book. I Found You by Lisa Jewell delivers an intelligent read with some sections that are truly unputdownable.

I have to say I found Alice’s decision to allow a total stranger into her home pretty surprising but then the more you get to know her, you realise that type of behaviour makes her into the wonderful person she is.

I couldn’t warm to poor old Lily at all.

Interesting concept and I’m very sure lots of people will love this book and fail to understand why I have given it 4 stars and not 5. There are places for me where it could have been edgier (and for my taste that would have been 5 stars), but I would imagine for mass appeal – which this book has in spades (beach joke unintended, honest) – it is spot on.

 

Synopsis:

‘How long have you been sitting out here?’
‘I got here yesterday.’
‘Where did you come from?’
‘I have no idea.’

Surrey: Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her new husband fails to come home from work one night she is left stranded in a new country where she knows no one.

East Yorkshire: Alice Lake finds a man on the beach outside her house. He has no name, no jacket, no idea what he is doing there. Against her better judgement she invites him in to her home.

But who is he, and how can she trust a man who has lost his memory?