book cover of The Upstairs House
Added by 3 of our members

The Upstairs House

(2021)
A novel by

 
 
A Good Morning America Book of the Month Selection • A Buzzfeed Most Anticipated Book of the Year • A The Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year

"A massively entertaining and slyly enlightening story nestled inside another story like a ghost within its host."   —Kathleen Rooney, author of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk

In this provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown. 

There’s a madwoman upstairs, and only Megan Weiler can see her.

Ravaged and sore from giving birth to her first child, Megan is mostly raising her newborn alone while her husband travels for work. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, she’s also wracked with guilt over her unfinished dissertation—a thesis on mid-century children’s literature.

Enter a new upstairs neighbor: the ghost of quixotic children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown—author of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon—whose existence no one else will acknowledge. It seems Margaret has unfinished business with her former lover, the once-famous socialite and actress Michael Strange, and is determined to draw Megan into the fray. As Michael joins the haunting, Megan finds herself caught in the wake of a supernatural power struggle—and until she can find a way to quiet these spirits, she and her newborn daughter are in terrible danger.

Using Megan’s postpartum haunting as a powerful metaphor for a woman’s fraught relationship with her body and mind, Julia Fine once again delivers an imaginative and “barely restrained, careful musing on female desire, loneliness, and hereditary inheritances” (Washington Post). 

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"The Upstairs House is a terrifying jolt of a book. Here are all the openings-up of motherhood, and all the strains of its competing demands, taken brilliantly to their richest, most frightening extremes. I was riveted by every twist and turn of this story about the hauntedness of having a child." - Clare Beams

"The Upstairs House is an inventive, surreal, feminist examination of the postpartum experience. Is new mom Megan Weiler haunted by the ghosts of Margaret Wise Brown and her lover Michael Strange, or is she experiencing a deep postpartum depression? The Upstairs House reveals the isolating, world-changing, full-bodied experience that is new motherhood while unfurling a fascinating tale about one of our most beloved children’s book authors. I love Julia Fine’s brain and the radical stories she creates. Full of rage and resentment and deep love, The Upstairs House is a must-read." - Crystal Hana Kim

"Delightful and darkly magical. Julia Fine has written a beautiful modern myth, a coming-of-age story for a girl with a worrisome power over life and death. I loved it." - Audrey Niffenegger

"Macabre and funny, spooky and soulful, Julia Fine's The Upstairs House lets the reader inhabit a massively entertaining and slyly enlightening story nestled inside another story like a ghost within its host. Love and resentment, madness and clarity compete and comingle in this unforgettable tale of literature and legacy." - Kathleen Rooney

"A little bit Shirley Jackson, Samantha Hunt, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, but also completely itself, The Upstairs House manages to turn the banal terrors of early motherhood, of womanhood, and daughterhood, and the ghosts that inevitably accompany them all, into a riveting page turner about trying to love in spite of the traumas that loving has wrought in the past." - Lynn Steger Strong

"The Upstairs House is a haunting that truly haunts. Julia Fine’s writing is sharp, dark, and delightfully twisty. A totally absorbing, fiercely feminist read that keenly dissects not just a psychological break, but the identities of and impossibilities for the women at its heart. This is a book that lingers." - Erika Swyler


Similar books by other authors


Used availability for Julia Fine's The Upstairs House

Hardback Editions

February 2021 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: The Upstairs House: A Novel
Author(s): Julia Fine
ISBN: 0-06-297582-X / 978-0-06-297582-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Harper
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

February 2021 : Audio CD
thumb

Title: The Upstairs House: A Novel
Author(s): Julia Fine
ISBN: 1-79995-777-2 / 978-1-79995-777-5
Publisher: HarperCollins B and Blackstone Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


February 2021 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Upstairs House: A Novel
Author(s): Julia Fine
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon   


February 2021 : Canada Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Upstairs House: A Novel
Author(s): Julia Fine
Publisher: HarperAudio
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

February 2021 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Upstairs House: A Novel
Author(s): Julia Fine
Publisher: Harper
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA