The Madwoman Upstairs

  • by Catherine Lowell
  • Narrated by Katie Koster
  • 11 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In Catherine Lowell's smart and original debut novel, 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 only the clues her eccentric father left behind and the Brontës' own novels.
Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. Since her father's untimely death, she is the presumed heir to a long-rumored trove of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Brontë family - a hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside the family but endlessly speculated on by Brontë scholars and fanatics. Samantha, however, has never seen this alleged estate, and for all she knows, it's just as fictional as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.
Yet everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and long-lost objects from the past begin rematerializing in her life. Her father's distinctive copy of Jane Eyre, which should have perished in the fire that claimed his life, mysteriously appears on Samantha's bed. Annotated in her father's handwriting, the book is the first of many clues in an elaborate scavenger hunt derived from the world's greatest literature. With the help of a handsome but inscrutable professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy - one that can be solved only by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontës' own writing.
For listeners who devoured The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Madwoman Upstairs is a suspenseful, exhilarating debut by an exciting new talent who offers a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

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What the Critics Say

"Koster's impressive emotional range captures Samantha's complex personality. She flawlessly portrays the girl's cheekiness as a cover for embarrassment and insecurity and perfectly captures her other emotions... Using an expressive, relaxed style, Koster connects listeners to the fun of Samantha's adventures." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An engaging story for fans of 19C English Lit

Fans of the Brontes, Jane Austin, and Emily Dickinson will love this literate and engaging story. The main character is rather unattractive and self absorbed but the twining of this story with the familiar Bronte and Austin stories keep the reader engaged from beginning to end. The author offers some interesting literary criticism and theses that will make for lively book club discussions. However, unfortunately, listeners will have to work to get past the flat and dull delivery of this narrator.
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- shira5665 "I'm a professional dog trainer who loves to read. I have degrees in English and Adult Ed. I love well written books that take me away."

Anyone who has a love for literature...

Will love this book! The story reminded me of my first year at college, studying literature and learning to truly analyze an author's work! But what really hooked me was the love story. The author grabbed my heart and made me feel what the protagonist felt, my heart surged with hers.
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- Cassie

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-01-2016
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.