It all happened so slowly, yet so extraordinarily quickly, the change to our parents, to our home, to our lives after they arrived. But that first night, when Birdie appeared on our front step with two large suitcases and a cat in a wicker box, we could never have guessed the impact she would have, the other people she would bring into our lives, that it would all end the way it did.
We thought she had just come to stay for the weekend.
Lisa Jewell’s The Family Upstairs is a fitting read for early winter, for its whipping winds and dropping temperatures, early dark and long, fitful nights. This book will leave you glad for that extra-cozy sweater, blinking out your window into the darkness beyond.
More than anything, Jewell has perfected the art of the “slow build”, as what starts out perfectly normal, patently ordinary, grows more wild and weird and unanswerable until you’re flipping page after page with bated breath, listening for that telltale cough that lets you know you’re not alone.