Tag Archives: lisa jewell

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Upstairs By Lisa Jewell Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Upstairs By Lisa Jewell Edition

Hello! While I had to take an entire week of work off for being sick, I was able to finish the book I’ve been working on called The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell. Despite enjoying this book very much, it is easy to say that it is not for everyone. Before we discuss (Without spoilers, of course!), I’ll be putting a trigger warning on The Family Upstairs for child abuse and heavy cult activity. Now, let’s get to it:

Libby Jones lives the average life of a freshly turned twenty-five year old. Struggling to make ends meet, constantly attempting to climb the corporate ladder, and trying to figure out just who the heck she is in this world (Ringing more true for her, as she is adopted). But Libby has been somebody to her real family since she’s been born and now it’s time to find out where she came from.

Shortly after Libby’s birthday, a letter arrives claiming that she is the inheritor of a mansion as well as learning about her real parents. Although ramshackle, abandoned, and with a dark history the home is still worth a fortune. A dark history, you say? Well, what else would you call a home in which children have gone missing and a perfectly healthy ten month old baby girl is living among the corpses of three adults in black robes?

This entire story is honestly just weird. But good weird! The mansion Libby inherits was once magnificent with fine furnishings, designer clothes in each closet, and the best of the best or it wouldn’t do. So how in SAM HILL was there nothing left in the home when the baby was found by the police? What was the baby doing there to begin with?!

The baby was not old enough to take care of herself so who was taking care of her? While Libby is searching for herself, there are others hot on her trail. The “baby” has now turned twenty-five and a handful of people have been waiting a quarter of a century for it. Friends? Foes? Family? Read The Family Upstairs to find out!

Told in an interweaving round between Libby and two others who may or may not have lived in the home previously, there are surprises and red herrings during every chapter making it impossible to put down. In fact, just talking about it is almost giving too much away. Life changing secrets are looming in the dark of the once grand home that Libby is now the owner of and each sick twist brings her one step closer to who she was, is, and will be.

Now, if you think my description of this book is intense, then you are in for a wild ride if you actually read it. The Family Upstairs turned and writhed throughout each sentence into a fireworks finale of the grand reveal. It was a great reveal, by the way, but I am proud to say I figured most of it out beforehand, thank you very much! 😀

I highly recommend this book if you can stomach it and am awarding it with an eight and a half out of ten stars. This has been one of the best story lines I’ve read in a long while and each and every character will leave you shocked for good or bad. Tuck into this page turner and enjoy, you won’t regret it.

Which book are you currently working on? Who is your favorite author? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Girls In The Garden By Lisa Jewell Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Girls In The Garden By Lisa Jewell Edition

Hi! As the old saying goes: “when in quarantine, do as those in quarantine do”, which is just Greek for I’ve been reading a lot. Lol, I’ve been devouring books left and right and have been loving every minute that gives my brain a break from the America’s Next Top Model marathons. The most recent book I finished was called The Girls In The Garden by Lisa Jewell. It was… Okay I guess?

Without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss. But, please be warned that there is some subject matter in The Girls In The Garden that could be very triggering. Now, let’s get to it:

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Virginia Park may seem like the perfect, picturesque place to raise a family. Quaint flats, a communal park that stretches close to three acres, and tons of children running about. However, the situation that brought young mother Clare and her two daughters Pip and Grace into the neighborhood was anything but picture perfect.

Clare, who is estranged from her husband, is weak and vulnerable upon their arrival. This, in turn, leaves her twelve year old daughter, Grace, and eleven year old daughter, Pip, free to explore the park and get acquainted with the other kids. Handsome Dylan, frigid Tyler, and the eccentric sisters Willow, Catkin, and Fern. The parents of the three sisters, Adele and Leo, are essentially the “cool parents” and their house is constantly full of kids running in and out.

As the preteens and teenagers hang about the park, cliques begin to form and catty attitudes cause a palpable tension. All the while, the children’s parents aren’t doing much better, shielding dark secrets of their own that span from their childhood. Long buried memories begin to reveal themselves ranging from pervy old men to affairs and, oh yeah, murder.

One fateful summer night, the present mimicked the past after a young, pretty girl is found bloody, unconscious and uncovered in the park. So similar to the death of another young, pretty girl in the park decades prior. Who is responsible for the past and present attacks? And will history try to repeat itself once more? Read The Girls In The Garden to find out more!

Okay, so I know what you guys are thinking: A whodoneit with intertwining stories and secrets. How did Sarah not like it? Believe you me, all of that is very fair and I did enjoy certain aspects of the story line. However, there were a lot of parts that made me just plain uncomfortable to read. This includes some insanely inappropriate displays of affection between a freshly turned thirteen year old girl and her boyfriend.

After that part went down, I really didn’t care what happened next in the book because I just didn’t care anymore. It was such a stomach churning thing and it literally made me feel disgusting after reading it. It’s really too bad too because if the author wasn’t so focused on being “edgy”, she would have had a hell of a book on her hands. Although, I did see the ending coming.

Had a crucial part of this book not made me nauseous, I would have rated The Girls In The Garden much higher. But, that is not the case. So, for the first time in history, Lil Red will be awarding no stars out of ten stars. I really didn’t care for the direction this book took towards the end and I couldn’t look past it. Not sorry about it and I definitely wouldn’t recommend this for your next book club meeting!

Which book is currently on your night stand? Do you have any reading recommendations for me? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah