The Wife Upstairs
by Rachel Hawkins
Discussion Questions:
1. How do you think this story compared to the original Jane Eyre? Is the story unique? Original? Did the author capture the right ambiance?

2. Did the story have the Southern charm as mentioned in the book summary?

3. Talk about Jane's motivations for her actions. Do you think she was purely motivated by a desire for money?

4. Were you surprised when Jane continues stealing even after she has wealth? Why do you think she steals? Do you think this trait was necessary?

5. Why do you think the author portrays Jane as tough, capable of violence, and manipulative? Contrast this to the timid, soft-spoken Jane in the original classic

6. Eddie targeted Bea for her money. Do you think he loved her?

7. Why do you think Eddie developed such an interest in Jane? Do you think the chemistry was natural or was there another reason he pursued her? Was it a need for power?

8. Why do you think Eddie changed his will, so Jane was the beneficiary? Was it a trust issue with Bea - a final power play in the event Bea outsmarted him and caused his death?

9. In the original PBS movie, Edward Rochester is rich, intense, and brooding. Do you feel the author captured these traits in this version of "Eddie"?

10. Talk about Bea and the motivation behind some of her actions? Why was she attracted to Eddie in the first place? Should she have seen Eddie for what he was?

11. Discuss the power play between Bea and Eddie. Did she have sex with him to gain power or because she still had feelings for him?

12. Both Bea and Jane are complex characters. Did they share any similarities, or are they completely different? Did you like one more than the other? Do you think Jane remained true to herself?

13. Do you think the author balanced the good and evil sides of each character? Were the characters likable? Did you have a favorite? A least favorite?

14. How do you think childhood experiences affected the choices and decisions each character made as an adult? Was it positive or negative?

15. Did your opinion change about any of the characters as the story unfolded?

16. What are your feelings on how the book ended? Was it realistic? Do you think Eddie and Bea perished in the fire, or did they somehow survive? Would a different, more definitive ending be better?

Discussion Questions by PrincetonBookReview
(Feel free to use with attribution)


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