Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Review: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

Title: The Madwoman Upstairs
Author: Catherine Lowell 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Touchstone
Publish Date: March 1, 2016 (Today!)
Source: Publisher

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.

But 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!


  1. This one is on my TBR as well. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it!

  2. I have been wanting to read The Mad Woman Upstairs and am so happy to read your great review. It is another book to add to my tbr.


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