The Family Upstairs


Show Synopsis

Gifted musician Clemency Thompson is playing for tourists on the streets of southern France when she receives an urgent text message. Her childhood friend, Lucy, is demanding her immediate return to London. It's happening, says the message. The baby is back. Libby Jones was only six months old when she became an orphan. Now twenty-five, she's astounded to learn of an inheritance that will change her life. A gorgeous, dilapidated townhouse in one of London's poshest neighborhoods has been held in a trust for her all these ...

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Jun 17, 2020

Full of holes

When Libby inherits her old family home on her 25th birthday she doesn't realise she is also exposing her families dark past...

The Family Upstairs was a book I really didn't get into from the offset which is a problem as the first few chapters of any book are essential to hooking me in so I can finish it in a few days. This book really didn't grab me from the beginning - there's too much jumping around and too many characters from the start that I didn't engage with it and ended up putting it down. My TBR list shifted and grew and this book sat on my Goodreads shelf for 10 months (!) until the lockdown meant I had time to pick it up again. I'm glad I did give it another chance in the end, it's not an outstanding thriller and I've definitely read better but it was a solid read which deserved more than the initial disregarding I gave it.

There are a lot of characters and the plot does jump perspectives a lot as well as introducing flashbacks which makes it confusing to know what's going on at times. This might just be me but also with two of the main characters being called 'Libby' and 'Lucy', I ended up getting them mixed up quite a lot which didn't help! I did like the idea of a cult like family moving in and slowly changing and manipulating everything in a family's life. They didn't really live 'upstairs' though which made the title seem a little odd.

I liked the darker side of the book which emerged at times, Lucy and her ex-husband, Henry & Phin's relationship and the end part of the flashbacks are all extremely disturbing but added some good layers to the piece. There was definitely a lot missing from the book though - although I accused it of having almost too much going on, what was presented did get a little boring and repetitive in places. I felt like we got a good character insight into Henry via the flashbacks but I wanted to know more about David and his motivations or more about Lucy's past or Phin's sister (can't even remember her name) or even Phin himself. There were also quite a few plot holes which made no sense when you thought about them a little more post-read.

Overall, any book that can sit unread on my Kindle for 10 months after reading the first few chapters isn't getting a high recommendation but The Family Upstairs is an ok thriller. Thank you to NetGalley & Random House UK - Cornerstone, Cemtury for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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