The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins is a retelling of Jane Eyre. I did not enjoy Jane Eyre at all, I don’t think those types of books are for me. This book however, was okay if you don’t know anything about Jane Eyre. It is the exact same story except a more modern version. Even the characters names are the same.
The story follows Jane, a dog walker new to Birmingham, Alabama, a rich neighborhood where its residents don’t realize if she takes a few trinkets from her employers. She meets wealthy and widowed Eddie Rochester whose wife Bea drowned in a boating accident with her best friend. Jane looks at Eddie as a new opportunity but as they fall for each other, Jane is constantly haunted by the memory of Bea since in town knew her. Will she ever be able to measure up to Eddie’s wife or will her past…or Eddie’s catch up to them?
I read this book in February 2021 in my book club and didn’t find it very exciting even though many people LOVED it on bookstagram and in my book club. I found it to be a fast read but predictable. I hope if you read it, you enjoyed it more than I did!
Do you enjoy retellings? If so, which is your favourite?
I’m sorry to re-start my book reviews with such a low rated (in my opinion) book. I first want to say that this book was translated from the French “Les Soeurs Volées.” I think the fact that this book was translated into English perhaps plays a factor as to why I didn’t enjoy it very much. It also read like an essay and not like a actual novel which was a bit repetitive and all over the place.
The book follows journalist Emmanuelle Walters who spent two years investigating the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and the disappearance of Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander. These teenagers from Quebec have been missing since September 2008. Through interviews, personal anecdotes, news clippings and official documents, she tells the story of the girls’ disappearance and the loss of two young lives within the community.
One thing that this book did do is open my eyes to the fact that the Canadian government has completely failed the Indigenous people. They have no done enough to ensure that they have a good quality of life nor do they seem to care if these women go missing or are murdered. They need to do more to help out the communities. Here in Quebec, we are not taught about these things in school, or we weren’t when I was in school, I’m not sure what it’s like now, but kids should be taught the history of this country with both its good parts AND bad. People need to be made aware of what’s going on. This was my first time reading about this subject and since then I have only read one more book about it. This was my book club’s pick for January 2021 so it’s been awhile since I have read it. I have often thought about re-reading it in French to see if I would enjoy it better. I’ll keep you guys posted if I do. If you have any reads to suggest on the subject of missing and murder indigenous women, please write them in the comments.