Cover Image: The Madwoman Upstairs

The Madwoman Upstairs

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Member Reviews

I was really taken with the premise of the book, but in the end, it was just okay. The surface level treatment of the literary content covered must have been intended for a general audience. I am not sure why I expected deep-dive literary analysis. Overly optimistic.
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Opening line:
"The night I arrived at Oxford, I learned that my dorm room was built in 1361 and had originally been used to quarantine victims of the plague."

I have to say I totally enjoyed this book...
until just over half way where it seemed to bog down or there was too much of non-info or maybe there was too much info. 
Samantha Whipple is a descendant of the Bronte family. Her dad raised her reading and debating all the classics. She liked to send her on literary treasure hunts. And his last, and biggest one, led her to Oxford, to the Bronte Parsonage, to a former lover of her dad's, to a well and into the arms of a teacher. The questions the characters asked, the way they dissected the Brontes and what the Brontes might have meant when they wrote their books (all the Brontes, not just the girls), were really intriguing and had me thinking and rethinking what I'd read when I read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre. I have a couple of other Bronte books I'm going to read now. 
I thought Ms. Lowell's writing was sharp, witty, and intelligent. Sometimes these was too much in the way of witty dialogue but it was still fun to read. 
The treasure though, was a bit of a let-down. And we didn't get to learn more about the final treasure. 
I would read more books by this author. 

For the sensitive reader: there is about 20 swear words with 6 F words: kissing;
Thanks to netgalley for the early copy.
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Read this book as part of a book club. I thought it was slow in part and didn't enjoy much.
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Samantha Whipple is now the last woman standing of the Bronte family and there have been rumors circling that there is a long hidden estate that will be coming her way, except she has no clue what and where it is.  Samantha heads to Oxford for a few reasons, one being an education, but also to reconnect with her previous generations and maybe find what she should be doing next with her life.

I loved that Samantha had her own story aside from her Bronte tie.  Yes, the story circles around her connection to the Brontes, but she had her own things to deal with and she was at such a great time in life, the cusp of adulthood and the time when decisions need to be made.  

There were things being pulled from all the Bronte books and having only read one of them, I got all the Jane Eyre references, but the others probably went over my head just a bit.  I was a little disappointed that I knew I missed things, but it didn't lessen my love of reading it.

I loved reading a contemporary story that was connected to Jane Eyre.  I would love to read another Catherine Lowell book that is maybe connected to another classic!
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