THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS
BY CATHERINE LOWELL, SIMON & SCHUSTER.
Is it a love story? A mystery? Or is it some seriously intense literary criticism? The Madwoman Upstairs is a happily strange mash-up of them all. Samantha Whipple is a student at Oxford, living in a spooky window-less tower room, and living down the fact that she is a direct descendent of the Brontë family. Overshadowed by her own “personal curse” of being related to the “three most famous dead women in all of England”, and still grieving the death of her eccentric alcoholic father, Samantha is somewhat lost, but always amusing. Throw in an attractive tutor, some screwy theories about the compelling Brontë sisters, and the mystery of a possible inheritance, and you have a joyously unhinged genre buster, a wonderfully weird flight of fancy. LM