• Kim Catron

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins


Jane Eyre is by far my favorite novel. It is the one I come back to and reread every summer, lingering over the lines and the sweeping narrative, envisioning Thornfield Hall and Mr. Rochester's and Jane's first encounter. Helen's death? Are there really enough tears.

Years ago I was introduced to the Wide Sargasso Sea, and ever since, I avidly look for retellings of Eyre.

Rachel Hawkins new novel The Wife Upstairs, does just that. Set in contemporary times in Thornfield Estates in Alabama, her characters and their situations mimic the original but with enough originality that it maintains its ownness. You don't have to know Eyre to appreciate The Wife Upstairs, but it does add an extra level of depth if you have.

The ending plays more of a "what if" game with Bronte's ending...but that is what writers do...thing of the what ifs...play around with possibilities.

So reader, go read it and see what you think of the what ifs.

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