Review: The Madwoman Upstairs




In this smart and enthralling debut in the spirit of The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using clues her eccentric father left behind.

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.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, this vibrant and original novel is a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

Rating: 5 stars


The Madwoman Upstairs is by far my favorite new novel. I loved how Catherine Lowell placed the Bronte sisters and their work into this fictional piece. The Bronte sisters are one of the most interesting women to read about and when talented writer, Catherine Lowell, places them and a history trail leading to them it’s quite fascinating. Readers will be entertained and lured in from the beginning and held until last page. Family life, secrets, and famous pieces of literature make for one appealing novel…I can’t see any reader passing this book. There is just too much of interest to let this story slide past one’s hands.

Catherine Lowell has brilliantly written a modern piece of fiction that will instantly become one of the new must read literature stories of all time. Her character, Sammantha, is perfectly developed and makes this fast-paced tale exciting. Sammantha is the only heir left to a family fortune that she believes is just a fictional tale until things start happening that make her believe otherwise. The Madwoman Upstairs has romance and msytery all bundled into one delightful read. Readers will be laughing out loud and find themselves addicted to this particular story as they follow Sammantha and the handsome man helping her. Overall, this is one of a kind novel and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. I am looking forward to the next masterpiece by Catherine Lowell.


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