Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Woman Upstairs

Anger. Claire Messud’s gift to readers of her novel, The Woman Upstairs, is that of one of the most expertly developed characters in contemporary literature. Nora Eldridge is not everywoman, but she is a complete woman and Messud creates her with insight and skill. Messud understands emotional depth, and the emotion that fuels Nora is anger. Women are expected to swallow their anger, and be nice at all costs. Unmarried at age 42 and working as a successful and beloved elementary school teacher, Nora seems to be the epitome of what the title refers to: the invisible and unassuming neighbor who is reliable and unthreatening. With great skill, Messud presents the authentic Nora, whose anger envelops her life. Any reader with empathy for the lives of contemporary American middle aged women will want to read and talk about this novel. Rating: Five-star (I love it) Click here to purchase The Woman Upstairs from

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