Five words from the blurb: alone, unseen, passion, art, betrayal
The Woman Upstairs grabs the reader’s attention from the very beginning. The narrator, Nora, is very angry and over the course of the book the reader discovers what has upset her. Nora is a teacher and she becomes friends with the parents of one of her pupils. They share a passion for art and Nora enjoys looking after their son. Her relationship with this family develops, but it is obvious that sooner or later something will go wrong…
I loved the anger and passion in the text – it is rare to read a book that demands attention in this way. Some readers will hate this direct approach, but I loved it and actually missed the raw emotion when it disappeared towards the centre of the book.
Much of The Woman Upstairs reminded me of Notes on a Scandal. Both books look at the difficulties of being a single woman without children; showing their invisibility in society.
My only problem with the book was that the plot felt very familiar. The writing style was refreshingly different and ending was good, but there were too many points during the course of the novel when I felt I’d read something similar before.
Overall this was an engaging read and I loved the increasing sense of foreboding. Recommended to anyone looking for a loud, confrontational read.
The thoughts of other bloggers:
...a deeply contemporary novel that reflects back the darkness and the light of ourselves as we try to shape our own worlds and how we define the meaning of success. Free Range Reading
…mediocre at best. Cerebral Girl in a Red Neck World
Messud does such a good job of creating a sense of dread. Reading the End