The Woman Upstairs

The Woman Upstairs

by Claire Messud
2.8 48

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Woman Upstairs 2.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Mamma_Librarian More than 1 year ago
This is a book that made me ponder about the things that are important. Nora is a character that you can relate to (even if you don't have a budding artist inside you).  The themes are contemporary, but not cliched. The writing is amazing. Not sure what the one reviewer meant about pedantic--because it is exactly the opposite of that.  So sad to see this book with a 3 stars because of it. I'm a librarian and I know what I'm talking about. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Funny, angry, intense---riveting! And with a most natural-sounding writing style. The sentences flow like sweet water.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this book captured so many emotions from disturbing to humorous. Rarely is an author able to probe the depths of a character's psyche in the way Massud accomplishes with Nora. A truly well told tale spun from the innermost thoughts of a middle-aged woman seeking to find meaning in her life. Excellent read. I cannot understand the negative reviews, as I was totally mesmerized!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was not intended to be "entertaining". Those who thought so missed the point. It was a character study of the type of person we all know, funtioning moderately well on the outside but filed with regret and both saddness and anger on the inside. It is about relationships, hope, trust, betrayal and striving versus resignation. It may be adowner but is very powerful and may cause one to reexamine his/her own relationships and goals. For those who want to read something of substance about the human conditon, this an excellent read.
debrareadsalot More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to my friends or not. It is a book that will capture your attention with her anger in the beginning of the book. However the woman I met in the beginning of the book was not at all the woman who remained throughout the telling of her story. Her anger didn't strike a balance with the ending. I really did think we were reading about two very different people. Now that I'm sitting here thinking about a book that I read maybe a month ago I am finding some other things that didn't add up with the character the author introduced us to. It is not a bad read but it isn't a great read. I kept looking for that woman to return. Even as the book ended I waited for that woman. She was something special.
books4gail More than 1 year ago
I want to feel--FEEL--when I am reading a novel. I am prepared to dislike a character (Olive Kitteridge, anyone?) and still love the book. The Woman Upstairs told me a great deal about what Nora was feeling, but never did I join her in that process of emotion. Funny, because I can totally relate to the love the character would have for all three of the Shahids. And betrayal? After attaching her "reason to live" to these people, Nora betrayed herself over and over again. Not a message inspiring the reader to live for herself, follow her own passion, be proud--at whatever age, stage in life we are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is most definitely the worst book I have ever read...and I read a lot! Boring, senseless, pointless, weird, the list could go on and on. Do yourself a favor and don't bother reading it! I would have given it "zero stars" had I been able to, but I had t ok give it at least one star to print this WARNING LABEL! ;)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not care for this book. Neither the characters or the storyline were interesting. Read this for my book club and I was glad when I was done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I gave this book five stars primarily because it compelled me so often and so intensely to consider the underlying connections between the characters' interpersonal relationships with the narrator/protagonist, as well as the intrapersonal life of the narrator through her relationships with the characters. I found myself constantly making these connections in each story development, making the end result, my personal analysis, rich, complex, and hearty. It is truly a profound novel, when these extrapolations are conceived. Sure, Nora is rather annoying, and often I saw her as a pathetic creature, too ordinary and too introspective for her own good. Honestly, I think she is seen by the reader as such because we can all, as much as we don't want to admit it, see elements of our own stories, our own personalities, in her. This is a novel to be chewed on, and sometimes, disgusted by. But this is the beauty and intelligence behind the book. If you are ready to read between the lines and find the inferences, read on!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was awful, plain and simple.  Boring, mundane, and absolutely mind numbing story that ultimately went absolutely nowhere.  You suffer through this long, tedious, overly drawn out story told in the first person by one of the single worst literary characters ever written.  You go through all of that knowing that this story must be going somewhere and it never does.  The so called climax comes in the very last chapter and is completely lackluster at best.  This book is definitely in the top five worst I have ever had the displeasure of reading .  My recommendation is to not waste the time or the money, it is not worth either.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you have lived in a box your whole life and have never had contact with another human then maybe you might find.something interesting.in this book. The biggest waste of my time EVER! All the positive editorial reviews have me stumped. Did the author have something on all these people that could ruin their lives unless they gave this piece of crap a good review? Seems possible. Do not waste your time! Go stare at a wall for a day or two, it would be more interesting than reading The Woman Upstairs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read a lot and it took so much control for me not to just throw this book away. I kept waiting for it to get better it never did. Waste of money
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Do i dare disturb the universe?.." This might be how everyone, actually, thinks of how the other half live. Thank you Ms. Messud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a thoughtfully crafted , beautifully written novel told from the viewpoint of Nora, an unlikable , self-centered martyr . She crosses paths with the Shahid family who can best be described as "careless people " . The results are predictably tragic and illuminating at the same time .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never connected with the woman upstairs and didn't care if she just disappeared from the planet.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No conclusion to a story with a main character who i disliked
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring, depressing, and overwhelmingly deary, with a completely unlikable main character. If this book were a color, it would be black. Do not bother with this one..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story is much different than I expected. Introspection was laborious and boring so lost interest.
JenPC More than 1 year ago
Messud's Nora Eldridge is creep and obsessive yet probably relatable to some readers. Readers who like their books a little dark and messy will appreciate this novel. Book groups will argue over whether Nora is unlikeable, fascinating, or both.