Tuesday, January 30, 2024

The Family Upstairs and The Family Remains

I love a good suspense book, especially when nothing else seems to be catching my attention. Lisa Jewell is always a good choice when I want something well-written and twisty.

I first read The Family Upstairs as a Book of the Month choice in 2019. I loved it back then, but once I heard there was a sequel, I knew I needed to re-read the first so I could appreciate it completely. Thankfully, my memory is pretty terrible, so while I knew I read the book and loved it, I didn't remember anything beyond the general storyline. This is actually a great quality as an avid reader because it means re-reading felt pretty darn close to reading it for the first time!

I love how Jewell creates storylines that are full of mystery, but the pacing keeps the suspense like a rollercoaster so you don't feel exhausted and ready to flip to the end. Her characters are all really vivid, which helped make the twists seem more organic. They each had distinct voices, too, which I feel like a lot of authors struggle with when they have alternating narrators.

The end was a great twist with some loose ends, but it didn't feel hokey. It felt realistic, like the way things wrap up in real life that makes you think, Ok, that's done... for now. And thankfully, Jewell felt that way, too, and wrote a sequel!

Even with the loose ends, I wasn't sure what was going to happen in The Family Remains. I think it's a great storyline, though, giving Jewell a chance to fill in some holes left by the first book without making it seem like she's retelling the same story.

I also love that she wrapped up all the loose ends and then, at the very end, tugged one loose.

Will there be another book? I don't know, but I'd read it! The story and characters now live on in my imagination, so I'd love a chance to peek into their lives again.

Have you read these books? Share your thoughts in the comments! Recommend some other suspense books, too!

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