The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Rating – 4 out of 5

In The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins, a retelling of Jane Eyre, Jane is an orphan with a checkered past looking for a new beginning. She finds one in Thornfield Estates, a high-class neighborhood, unlike any she has lived in before. She soon becomes entangled with Eddie Rochester, a recent widower who seems to have it all. As they become closer, it becomes clear that not all is as it seems and there might be more than one secret just out of sight, upstairs.

Favorite Quote

“I hear the car before I see it, but even then, I don’t move, and later, I’d look back at that moment and wonder if I somehow knew what was going to happen. If everything in my life had been leading me to that one spot, to that one house. To him.” – The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


I love a good retelling of a classic and The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins did not disappoint! Set in the modern-day, this was more an “influenced by” retelling rather than a “stick to every detail” retelling. Jane in this version has much more autonomy and is much more conniving. In tandem, Rochester (Eddie) is even more evil. The characters, while they do seem to genuinely like each other, also have a good back and forth when it comes to their manipulations.

Because of this dynamic, the story plays out much more like a thriller than a love story. I know Jane Eyre is not as much a love story as a gothic, but it still has a happy ending. Dear Readers this book has a thrilling conclusion that will leave you on the edge of your seat. Think “Girl on the Train” or “Gone Girl” in its level of manipulation and thrill. I would love to see this become a movie in the future.

I recommend this book if retellings of classics and mystery thrillers.

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