Happy new week! I’m delighted to share my thoughts on a devilish book today!
Title: The Woman Upstairs
Author: Ruth Heald
Date of publication: 10 September 2019
Format: uncorrected proof
You’d be lost without her…
She’s the shoulder you cry on when the father of your children disappears.
She’s the person you turn to when he comes back, begging for forgiveness.
She’s by your side when you discover his guilty secrets.
She helps rock your babies to sleep when they cry.
She’s your friend when you have no one else.
She’s the woman upstairs, whose feet you hear treading around as you drift off at night, thankful you aren’t alone.
But what if you’re about to lose everything because of her?
One of the most twisted, shocking, heart-stopping psychological thrillers you’ll ever read! Fans of K.L. Slater, The Wife Between Us and The Girl on the Train, prepared to be kept up way past your bedtime as you race through this addictive page-turner.
Books often remind me to be grateful for the quiet life I am living. The Woman Upstairs definitely sent me a reminder of what I really don’t want my life to turn into!!!
The novel tackles relationships through different angles. A couple. A mother-daughter. Sisters. Strangers. STRANGER DANGER! You think it’s only for kids, don’t you? Well, us adults (or tall human beings pretending to be adults) should remember this one.
Katie’s life is changing faster than she can cope with. An unplanned pregnancy with her long-time boyfriend forces her to try and paint a new world for herself and the babies to come. As if a baby wasn’t enough, she’s blessed with two! I used to think I’d like to have twins so I wouldn’t have to go through more than one pregnancy, but I never considered the after… With her mother getting on her nerves and her relationship with her sister strained by the fact Melissa has been dying to have kids for years, Katie is lost. Even more when her boyfriend’s work sends him away, leaving her to deal with a future full of uncertainties.
No matter how many plans we make, life isn’t a house, and we are not architects. The universe is only one step away to show just how little control we have over what happens to us. And what we have control over usually gets messed up. At the end of The Woman Upstairs, it dawned on me that we often are the ones making our life more difficult than it is. Funny, coming from a control freak like me! I couldn’t help but ‘tut’ or sigh at Katie’s decisions, but in the end, we choose our path according to what’s at hand at the moment. Could I really blame her for allowing access to a lovely doula who seemed eager to help? I am all for hospital, midwives, and drugs! But I understand the appeal mothers-to-be can see in this way of doing things. Truth be told, I never trusted Paula. I tend to bark at people who take over your world within minutes, but again, it’s only because I like to be captain of my ship, and that I don’t have to face my life high on hormones! I didn’t see eye to eye with Katie but her situation got to me and I began talking to her like you do when watching movies. You know, when young Blondie hears something and goes alone in the basement only to get killed by the murderer playing around?
The Woman Upstairs is a staircase (see what I did there?) With each step, tension is added to the novel, slowly but surely taking away your sanity. One lie this way, one odd detail over here. The author makes it easy to feel something is wrong. Except many things are wrong, and in more than one way! I didn’t know where to turn, finding myself incapacitated by the seeds of doubts left by everyone in the book.
I really enjoyed the exploration of families. Katie and her babies, Katie and her sibling, Katie and her mother… I had this image of everyone of us held up by threads sewed by those who came before us, with us, around us. We are shaped by what others let us see, feel, and understand. But that’s not all there is. Growing up means sewing your own threads.
The Woman Upstairs is a tense and suspenseful tale of families hiding skeletons in the basement…
Grab your copy now!
Apple Books: https://apple.co/2IkjTz8
My biggest thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to be part of this tour!
Ruth Heald is a psychological thriller writer from a suburban Buckinghamshire town. She studied Economics at Oxford and then worked in an eclectic mix of sectors from nuclear decommissioning to management consulting.
Seeking a more creative environment, she found a role at the BBC and worked there for nine years before leaving to write full time. Ruth is fascinated by psychology and finding out what drives people to violence, destruction and revenge. She’s married with one daughter and her novels explore our greatest fears in otherwise ordinary, domestic lives.
Social Media Links:
Twitter: @RJ_Heald. https://twitter.com/RJ_Heald