The Family Remains: the gripping Sunday Times No. 1 bestseller (The Family Upstairs, 2)
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Were there elements you wanted to make sure you incorporated to highlight themes in the Lamb family story? After just a few months, Rachel marries this charming, successful, and attractive man looking forward to happily-ever-after.
Libby Jones (birth name Serenity Lamb) has grown close to her biological mother, Lucy Lamb, her uncle, Henry Lamb, half-brother Marco, and half-sister Stella. Furthermore, I would categorise Henry, Lucy, and Marco’s story as more family drama/secrets/tragedy, with Rachel’s being more domestic thriller, and a dash of police procedural thrown in. There are a few minor twists that are somewhat predictable, but overall I enjoyed these characters and am glad to have found out what happened next in their lives. An investigation into the identity of the deceased is launched and the past comes back to haunt the family! Coercive control is something I’ve written about a lot over my career, even in my very early ‘feelgood’ novels.
I highly recommend skim-reading it like I did, or at least have a copy handy to refer to if you get lost. I will also have author interviews and author related pieces to enrich the reading experience of that particular author's works.
The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion.
It is a credit to Jewell that I was able to keep up with a story that has a multitude of characters with multiple aliases and backstories with the help of the handy family tree she includes at the beginning of the book. Jewell weaves her magic with her disturbed and unsettling storytelling, in which there are mysteries and surprising connections are made. The story itself is interesting and Jewell keeps you in the dark about what the complete story is and how three distinct story lines are connected for the majority of the book. All the new evidence pointed to a connection with the dead bodies found on the kitchen floor all those years ago.
I am aware mine is an outlier opinion so you might want to go through other reviews before you decide on this one.Do you think Rachel and Lucy will continue to be friends, or do you think their bond in common is too painful for them to maintain a relationship? Lisa Jewell's first novel, Ralph’s Party, was published in 1999 and was the best-selling debut novel of the year. Henry is a study in how a messed-up child still as an adult uses his artful skills of manipulation to get what he wants. Since then she has published another twenty-one novels, most lately a number of dark psychological thrillers, including Then She Was Gone, The Family Upstairs and None of This is True. It pains me to rate a Lisa Jewell novel this low but there is absolutely nothing about this book I feel good about.