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Click to search this book in our catalog The Family Upstairs
by Lisa Jewell

Publishers Weekly Twenty-five years before the present-day action of this un-put-downable psychological thriller from bestseller Jewell (Watching You), the bodies of Henry and Martina Lamb and an unknown man were found in the Lambs’ mansion in London’s exclusive Chelsea district. How did they die, and where were the Lambs’ children? Three entwined stories provide some answers. Homeless Lucy, a busking violinist, is sitting on a French beach with her son when she receives a message on her phone: “The baby is 25.” Lucy’s account of her voyage to London merges with that of Libby Jones. Libby, adopted when she was around a year old, is working for a kitchen design company in St. Albans when she receives the news that she has inherited the Lambs’ family home. Henry, the Lambs’ son, describes his childhood and the terrifying events that changed all their lives when the charismatic charlatan David Thomsen came to stay. Investigating her past, Libby gets much more than she bargained for. Distinct, well-developed characters, shifting points of view, and a disturbing narrative that pulses with life create an enthralling tale full of surprises. Agent: Deborah Schneider, Gelfman Schneider Literary. (Nov.)

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Library Journal Jewell's tenth novel (after Watching You) starts with Libby, who just turned 25, inheriting a London townhouse worth millions from her biological parents. She was told that her parents died in a car crash, but that was a lie to shield her. In fact, she was discovered as a baby in the townhouse, well cared for but with the decaying bodies of her parents and an unknown man. The police report says that all three adults died in a suicide pact. But did they? Neighbors, although rarely seeing anyone, thought several children and adults were living there. Where are they? And where is Libby's older brother and sister? Libby can't rest until she discovers what happened to her and her family all those years ago. VERDICT Readers won't be able to put this novel down. Just when they think they have figured it all out, the story twists and turns right up to the last chilling line. Highly recommended for fans of authors such as Gillian Flynn and V.C. Andrews. [See Prepub Alert, 4/8/19.]—Susan Moritz, Silver Spring, MD

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Libby receives a surprise inheritance on her twenty-fifth birthday: she's been left a mansion in London's Chelsea neighborhood, the house where she was abandoned as a baby. It was a huge scandal at the time, as she was clean and cared for, but her parents were long dead in the kitchen, having entered into a suicide pact. All of this had been hidden from Libby until now, and she's determined to find out the truth behind her family's history. Meanwhile, in France, Lucy travels from hostel to hostel with her two children in tow, barely getting by as a street musician, when she gets a mysterious text that drives her to extremes in order to get back to London. Her connection to the Chelsea house (and therefore Libby) is at the heart of Jewell's latest thriller. The suspense mounts, moving from Libby to Lucy in the present as well as in mesmerizing flashbacks. No one is quite whom they seem to be, and everyone is willing to do whatever is needed in order to get what they want. Another dark winner from Jewell, who expertly teases out her tricky tale with stunning moments and richly drawn characters.--Rebecca Vnuk Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog We Were the Mulvaneys
by Joyce Carol Oates

Library Journal: Everyone knows the Mulvaneys: Dad the successful businessman, Mike the football star, Marianne the cheerleader, Patrick the brain, Judd the runt, and Mom dedicated to running the family. But after what sometime narrator Judd calls the events of Valentine's Day 1976, this ideal family falls apart and is not reunited until 1993. Oates's (Will You Always Love Me, LJ 2/1/96) 26th novel explores this disintegration with an eye to the nature of changing relationships and recovering from the fractures that occur. Through vivid imagery of a calm upstate New York landscape that any moment can be transformed by a blinding blizzard into a near-death experience, Oates demonstrates how faith and hope can help us endure. At another level, the process of becoming the Mulvaneys again investigates the philosophical and spiritual aspects of a family's survival and restoration. Highly recommended.

Joshua Cohen, Mid-Hudson Lib. System, Poughkeepsie, NY Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

Publisher's Weekly: Elegiac and urgent in tone, Oates's wrenching 26th novel (after Zombie) is a profound and darkly realistic chronicle of one family's hubristic heyday and its fall from grace. The wealthy, socially elite Mulvaneys live on historic High Point Farm, near the small upstate town of Mt. Ephraim, N.Y. Before the act of violence that forever destroys it, an idyllic incandescence bathes life on the farm. Hard-working and proud, Michael Mulvaney owns a successful roofing company. His wife, Corinne, who makes a halfhearted attempt at running an antique business, adores her husband and four children, feeling "privileged by God." Narrator Judd looks up to his older brothers, athletic Mike Jr. ("Mule") and intellectual Patrick ("Pinch"), and his sister, radiant Marianne, a popular cheerleader who is 17 in 1976 when she is raped by a classmate after a prom. Though the incident is hushed up, everyone in the family becomes a casualty. Guilty and shamed by his reaction to his daughter's defilement, Mike Sr. can't bear to look at Marianne, and she is banished from her home, sent to live with a distant relative. The family begins to disintegrate. Mike loses his business and, later, the homestead. The boys and Corinne register their frustration and sadness in different, destructive ways. Valiant, tainted Marianne runs from love and commitment. More than a decade later, there is a surprising denouement, in which Oates accommodates a guardedly optimistic vision of the future. Each family member is complexly rendered and seen against the background of social and cultural conditioning. As with much of Oates's work, the prose is sometimes prolix, but the very rush of narrative, in which flashbacks capture the same urgency of tone as the present, gives this moving tale its emotional power. 75,000 first printing; author tour.

Copyright 1996 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms

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