Title: The Madwoman Upstairs
Author: Catherine Lowell
Publish Date: March 1, 2016 (Today!)
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Samantha Whipple is
used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. As the last remaining
descendant of the Brontë family, she's rumored to have inherited a
vital, mysterious portion of the Brontë's literary estate; diaries,
paintings, letters, and early novel drafts; a hidden fortune that's
never been shown outside of the family.
But Samantha has never
seen this rumored estate, and as far as she knows, it doesn't exist. She
has no interest in acknowledging what the rest of the world has come to
find so irresistible; namely, the sudden and untimely death of her
eccentric father, or the cryptic estate he has bequeathed to her.
everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and bits
and pieces of her past start mysteriously arriving at her doorstep,
beginning with an old novel annotated in her father's handwriting. As
more and more bizarre clues arrive, Samantha soon realizes that her
father has left her an elaborate scavenger hunt using the world's
greatest literature. With the aid of a handsome and elusive Oxford
professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an
untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues
hidden within the Brontë's own writing."
My Two Cents:
In "The Madwoman Upstairs," Samantha finds herself studying at Oxford University. She may be the last remaining descendant of the Bronte sisters. Her father always made sure that she studied the work of her famous ancestors but now he is gone. All that remains of her father are some clues that at first Samantha doesn't think that she can work them out but she is slowly able to begin to figure out the things that her father wanted her to find.
I was excited to read this book with its tie to the Brontes. I also love a book with a good mystery at its center. On its face, this book seemed to promise so many of the things that I like in a book. I was not disappointed. I also really liked the characters in the book. Samantha is sharp with a funny way of looking at the world. She has a brand of sarcasm that I really identified with. I loved following her as she put together all of the clues that her father left behind. This book has a lot of interesting thoughts on how the works of the Bronte sisters should be looked at and discussed, which I loved. My fellow classics lovers may find some of these thoughts interesting as well!
The writing of the book was good. I especially loved the dialogue back and forth between the characters. It's fast and sparkly and witty. It kept me in the book and made the characters seem really real to me! This is a good debut novel!