Catherine Lowell – The Madwoman Upstairs

Samantha Whipple comes to Oxford to study literature. Yet, she is not a student like any other. As the last descendant of the famous Bronte family, she soon attracts much more attention than she wants. Albeit schooled at home by her father and always exposed to literature and its analysis, she struggles with her professor and his demands and expectations. But it is not only the interest in books that brought her to the old university, her father must have left her a legacy when he died, his will is not very clear, so she not only indulges in the Bronte novels but also in a quest of her family inheritance.

I really enjoyed reading Catherine Lowell’s novel because the cleverly integrates the famous classics and discussions about them in the plot without forgetting her readers and over-exaggerating the literary analysis. The main character, Samantha, is interestingly drawn, she is neither the superhero nor the plain bookworm, but a young woman with a strong will and insecurity at the same time. Of course, the obligatory love story also finds its way into the novel. The only aspects I see a bit critical is the fact that there are masses of coincidences which make the story rather improbable. However, the style of writing keeps you reading on and enjoying it.
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