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The Madwoman Upstairs (MP3 CD)
March 2016 Indie Next List
“The Madwoman Upstairs is both a reference to the insane wife of Edward Rochester in Jane Eyre and to Samantha Whipple, who is the last remaining descendant of the Bronte sisters. This exciting literary debut is in part a study of literature, specifically the works of the Bronte sisters, and in part an exploration of the mystery of their legacy. Samantha cannot escape her past with their work, the world's interest in her inheritance of previously undiscovered family treasures, and the current puzzle of artifacts mysteriously appearing in her room that may or may not answer some of her questions. For mystery and Bronte fans alike, this is a delightful romp by very clever author to watch.”
— Terry Gilman (W), Mysterious Galaxy Books, San Diego, CA
In Catherine Lowell's smart and original debut novel, the only remaining descendant of the Bronte 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 Brontes' 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 Bronte family--a hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside the family but endlessly speculated on by Bronte 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 only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontes' own writing.For readers 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.