The Upstairs House: A Novel
Megan is a brand-new mother, consumed with exhaustion as she learns how to care for her daughter, Clara, and faces the daunting task of trying to complete her dissertation. Megan’s husband, Ben, travels for work, and Megan is mostly left alone to navigate new motherhood. Her sister, Annie, is a steady presence, somewhat making up for their parents’ sporadic and disappointing behavior. As Megan sinks deep into the stress of breastfeeding and Clara’s constant physical needs, she makes a discovery: a turquoise door in the stairwell, behind which lives the famous author Margaret Wise Brown. Megan forms a friendship with Margaret, though it’s complicated by Margaret’s unreliability and the angry appearances of Margaret’s lover, Michael Strange, who lashes out in ways that put Clara at risk. Desperate to escape Michael’s presence, and fearful of what harm might come to Clara, Megan embarks on a furious escape–and discovers the heartbreaking truth about who the true danger really is.
The Upstairs House is unsparing in its portrayal of early motherhood, laying out in excruciating detail both the physical traumas and the relentless isolation. Only Annie suspects the reality of Megan’s deteriorating mental health, but even she doesn’t fully grasp the extent of Megan’s distress–which leads to a wrenching conclusion. This novel argues powerfully that we ignore women’s experiences with postpartum psychosis at our peril.
|Page Count||304 pages|
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