In May, the group met virtually and discussed Lisa Jewell’s ‘The Family Upstairs’.
From the No 1 bestselling author of Then She Was Gone. In a large house in London's fashionable Chelsea, a baby is awake in her cot. Well-fed and cared for, she is happily waiting for someone to pick her up. In the kitchen lie three decomposing corpses. Close to them is a hastily scrawled note. They've been dead for several days. Who has been looking after the baby? And where did they go? Two entangled families. A house with the darkest of secrets. A compulsive new thriller from Lisa Jewell.
Lisa Jewell has received international praise for her suspenseful noir and The Family Upstairs is an intriguingly multi-character telling of mysteries and obsessions and a whole lot more set around a large mansion in Chelsea. The house itself perhaps taking on a gothic-like personality as well.
Our bookclub members enjoyed The Family Upstairs and it certainly prompted a lengthy discussion about the whys and wherefores of different character actions. One slight criticism was that the multi-character telling of different stories in different time periods did make this a book not difficult to read/follow but one that required ‘attentive’ reading.
Our group members scored The Family Upstairs an average of 4 out of 5 stars.
Educated was the group’s June read. A Goodreads 2018 Choice Winner, Educated is a telling memoir by American author Tara Westover about her upbringing in a Mormon ‘Survivalist’ home in rural Idaho.
Reading the book prompted some members to look the author up online and research the story further. Some of the specific content is disputed by other family members but, as was pointed out, even if a fraction of it were true it is an incredible story. One member pointed out that, with reference to the car crashes and other trauma injuries that were all treated at home, it’s a wonder no-one died from their injuries.
Tara didn’t go to school and was not home schooled but still she managed to teach herself before going on to study and graduate from Harvard and Cambridge. Bill Gates (not in our book club 😊) wrote, ‘I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself—until I read Tara Westover’s memoir Educated. Her ability to learn on her own blows mine right out of the water. I was thrilled to sit down with her recently to talk about the book.’
Unfortunately, I wasn’t on the ball enough to ask for scores before our Zoom meeting ended but I got the impression that they found it a very interesting book to read. Note to self: Must do better!