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The Madwoman Upstairs
The Madwoman Upstairs: A Novel | Catherine Lowell
In Catherine Lowells smart and original debut novel, the only remaining descendant of the Bront family embarks on a modern-day literary scavenger hunt to find the familys long-rumored secret estate, using only the clues her eccentric father left behind, and the Bronts own novels.Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. Since her fathers untimely death, she is the presumed heir to a long-rumored trove of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Bront familya hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside of the family, but endlessly speculated about by Bront scholars and fanatics. Samantha, however, has never seen this alleged estate and for all she knows, its just as fictional as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights. Yet everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and long lost objects from the past begin rematerializing in her life. Her fathers distinctive copy of Jane Eyre, which should have perished in the fire that claimed his life, mysteriously appears on Samanthas bed. Annotated in her fathers handwriting, the book is the first of many clues in an elaborate scavenger hunt derived from the worlds greatest literature. With the help of a handsome but inscrutable professor, Samantha must plunge into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Bronts own writing. For readers who devoured The Weird Sisters and Special Topics in Calamity Physics, The Madwoman Upstairs is a suspenseful, exhilarating debut by an exciting new talent who offers a moving exploration of what it means when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.
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Gulfskye
Madwoman Upstairs | Catherine Lowell
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Favorite line from my current read.

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saresmoore
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Mehso-so

I read this to continue my wanderings with the Brontës. It was good, not great. The writing felt a bit amateurish and it was almost too self-aware/meta on the subject of critical reading and authorial intent. The handful of unreliable characters seemed to exist in a vacuum, which was convenient for propelling the story, but left the whole thing a bit flat. In all, the tone was a bit too cynical for my taste ?

saresmoore ...and the author came off as even more pretentious than her obnoxious characters. It was a fun story and premise, overall, just missed the mark for me. Also, I understand the on-the-nose reference in this case, but please spare me the tidy epilogues, Literary World. 11mo
tpixie I agree, I feel more greatness could‘ve come from the premise. Before I read it however I prepped and read all of the Brontës main books which was fun and I‘m glad it did because it made this book more meaningful. I really like Anne Brontë 11mo
saresmoore @tpixie I did the same prep! Anne is my favorite, as well, although I still harbor an enduring affection for Emily‘s gothic wonder. I almost felt overprepared for this book, though, and some of the MC‘s misguided musings frustrated the heck out of me! 11mo
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LeahBergen I have this on my shelf and worry that (like you) I‘ll be “over prepared” and unable to just read it for fun. 😬 11mo
saresmoore @LeahBergen It‘s set in Oxford and the MC is a student with lots of personal history to unearth, so I think you‘ll still be able to enjoy it. Or maybe I‘m just being selfish, because I‘d love to discuss it with you. 😬 I read it cover to cover, yesterday, so it certainly held my attention. 11mo
Suet624 Over preparing for a book. Hmmm. I don‘t think I‘ve ever done that! 11mo
saresmoore @Suet624 It was sort of accidental. I learned about this book when I was already mostly through reading the Brontë sisters‘ oeuvre. Which maybe just makes me a big nerd. ? 11mo
Suet624 Well you are definitely a smiley face with glasses. 😀 11mo
tpixie @saresmoore @saresmoore I had not either I guess I created my own college CrashCourse! But it did help me understand or relate to the madwomen book a little more by having read the others first! I think reading Anne Brontës 2 books Agnes Grey & The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was really important , as well as 11mo
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MaureenMc
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Mehso-so

I love a good literary mystery, and I had high expectations for this novel about a Brontë descendant‘s quest to find the inheritance her father has left her at Oxford. Unfortunately, it didn‘t quite live up to its billing for me. I found the protagonist to be annoyingly immature, and the writing was stilted at times. The premise was fun, though, and YMMV.

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KimberlyFish

“an imagination left alone in the dark can be a terrible thing.” Samantha Whipple

I‘m eating up this novel!! What fun. Thank you, Ms. Lowell.

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Verity
Madwoman Upstairs | Catherine Lowell
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Spotted this in the discount book store yesterday - I think I like the hardback cover more - this feels much fluffier and more romancy than mystery with gothic throw backs!

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jlmanner
Pickpick

Fucking fantastic.

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FUPaladin95
This post contains spoilers
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Pickpick

At first, I thought the metaphors, similes, and hyperboles were out of control. When the narrator‘s father is angry with her use of these techniques and she often refers to herself as a horrible writer, I understood. Lingering question: everything at Oxford was carefully orchestrated for the narrator; I wondered if her father hand-selected her professor to provide a Brontëan romance. Had her father met her professor and arranged the relationship?

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AllieMint
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This may look like a chick lit .. but don't ever judge a book by its cover. It's a smart contemporary mystery perfect for Brontë fans. Actually, you'll love it if you enjoy English literature or books in general.. which you should if you like to read at all! 🤣😋

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AllieMint
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Reading in the shade.. loving my current read!

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OriginalCyn620
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@Jess7 look what came today! Max had to sniff it out first though. 🐶
Thanks so much for your generous #giveaway! Very awesome of you! #bookmail

tpixie Cute puppy 🐶 #DogsOfLitsy 🐶♥️🐶 12mo
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DarcysMom
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Pickpick

🌟🌟🌟🌟
#audiobook
#overdrive

tpixie Great review! 12mo
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DarcysMom
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Today's audiowalk capped off the highest mileage I have ever clocked in a single month. The support of all you awesome Littens made it much easier to get up and moving on days I wanted to sink into the couch. I am pumped for a great February chasing my resolutions. 💕💕💕
#audiowalk
#800in2018
#overdrive

JacqMac 👏🎉👏 2y
Lacythebookworm 🎉🎉🎉🙌 2y
mrp27 🎉👏🏼🎉👏🏼 2y
78 likes3 comments
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DarcysMom
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tpixie Great job. I‘ve got to turn my life around. 12mo
DarcysMom @tpixie 💖💖💖 12mo
87 likes2 comments
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DarcysMom
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tpixie Lol. I know you read this book and did this walk a year ago but I‘m enjoying the horse and cat that you get to see on your walk! 12mo
DarcysMom @tpixie I love the animals I get to see! 12mo
tpixie @DarcysMom I bet! Animals make hearts swell! ♥️🥰♥️ 12mo
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DarcysMom
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heatherkaz
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Pickpick

This book has been in my TBR since it came out, and thanks to my last litsy book exchange I received a copy and *finally* got around to it!
I loved all of the Jane Eyre and Bronte talk, but (guilty pleasure alert!) also enjoyed the romance parts of it. It was like a Hallmark movie went to college😜 overall, an entertaining binge read!
@EmilyChristine #summersolsticeexchange

tpixie @heatherkaz Great review, great book! @EmilyChristine 12mo
EmilyChristine Yay! 😊 12mo
29 likes2 comments
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Litsi
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Mehso-so

This book didn‘t live up to its promise. It‘s a story about ?? that involves the Bronte family, its estate, and literary theory. But it‘s also a scavenger hunt, a romance and a campus novel. It just doesn‘t in the end have its own reason for being and fails to accomplish any of the forms very well. Still the author has talent. Hoping her next novel will be better focused, but probably won‘t read it.

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Litsi
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Reading this one now. Can‘t put it down!

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sofiaga
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Pickpick

I found this book so charming. It is a great spin on Jane Eyre. I loved the main characters.

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EvieBee
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Sofia and THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS arrived safely today! No more Shady Pines! #bookmail

MicheleinPhilly OMG! I love her! 2y
dariazeoli I want a Sophia Funko! 2y
ContraryMary Ohhh! Want! 2y
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EvieBee @MicheleinPhilly @dariazeoli @ContraryMary She has so much detail! I love her!! 2y
[DELETED] 3803335244 Oh I can't wait to hear what you think about this! I'm a huge Jane Eyre fan ❤️ 2y
EvieBee @ForeverNerdy Me too! I was told this was a must read for us. 2y
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BookswithTea
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Took the day off work for a "mental health day" and spent the afternoon browsing a local used bookstore! ??

rubyslippersreads Great finds! 2y
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GypsyKat
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This seems like an interesting list of books. 📖

https://www.bookstr.com/modern-reads-for-fans-of-the-brontes

tpixie Great list thanks! 12mo
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sherryvdh
Panpan

This book was not for me. I have a hard time with panning books because I know so much work goes into them. It wasn't the writing that turned me off. I struggled with the MC through most of the book. I definitely could not relate, and I couldn't see where her POV was coming from. Also, to be honest, I had expected a bit more history tied into the plot.

tpixie I think we all wanted a little more Brontë in there 12mo
19 likes1 comment
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sherryvdh
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We did a little library hopping this morning, now I'm doing some post-lunch reading. I started this one yesterday. So far, it's intriguing. I'm hoping to do some outdoor reading later this afternoon while Little Man burns some energy. #libraryreads #nslittens #summerreading #needafiltertohidethemess #SAHMsDayOff

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rmaclean4
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The Bookcellar...Great independent bookstore in Chicago.

tpixie Perfect play on words! 12mo
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Meglet

Just finished reading this book for the third time. I kinda like it. :) Finally saw some of the annoyance in Sam's personality that others complain of; I think I must find her highly relatable because I still like her. The reflections on analysis, the analyses themselves, the quotable bits, the references and parallels, the characters, all give me a satisfying reading experience. I need more books like this.

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Lauren.Archer
Pickpick

I really liked the book a heck of a lot. It reminded me of The Lost Book of the Grail, but about the Brontes instead. I now want to go read and reread all the Bronte novels.

Laalaleighh This is one of my faves of 2016 3y
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Lauren.Archer
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So I totally want to dive into my new books from #summersantagoespostal but I have to read this one first, because it is due back at the library. Though this looks like a fun read.

everfree7 For the most part, I loved it. 3y
Juli I want to read this one! 3y
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scripturient
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Does anybody else not like lending books to people? My best friend came over today and asked if she could borrow some books. Of course I didn't say no but I still felt bad, even though I know she'll treat them well. I even snapped this secret picture of the pile so I'd have a record of which books she took. 😂😂 Am I weird? 😂

sprainedbrain Nope! I worry every time I lend one. 😃 3y
LitHousewife Not weird. 😂 Your friend has good taste, too. 3y
BookHoarder32 I don't lend.. if it's a good book, I'll buy them a used copy 3y
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jfalkens I try not to lend out my books, I've had too many people not return my books or return them damaged or years later 😭😭 3y
Prairiegirl_reading I was say "sure you can borrow my book but you have to return it to me in the condition it is in right now or replace it." Usually people say no. ? 3y
OrangeMooseReads I only lend to my mom. Last time I loaned to someone else I didn't get my book back, at least with my mom I know I can just go in and take my book back. 3y
Lmstraubie Not at all!! It's like giving away a piece of yourself. 3y
MicheleinPhilly 🙋🏻I have one friend that I loan books to. ONE. We have keys to each other's houses so we joke that if one of us doesn't return the other's books, we'll just show up and take them. 3y
Betty_Bookworm I hate lending books out. I rarely ever see them again and I feel like a jerk asking for them. 3y
Lynnsoprano Smart! I lost one of my favorites by lending it and not remembering who it went to. 3y
Sarah83 I don't like it as well. 😑 The books look always creepy, when I get them back. 😣 3y
GuiltyFeat I love lending books. I buy everything I read and keep it forever. I love sending them out into the wild again knowing that I'm the reason someone else is reading them. 3y
booksandsympathy There are only three people I lend books to: my mom, my sister, my best friend. I know where they live. Lol. I stopped loaning books to my best friend, though, and just buy them for her now. She lives in another state & has had some of my books for years. I've had other people never return books, so I kind of just stopped loaning them to others. 3y
Readingrobin I feel your discomfort! Nowadays there are few books I'll loan. Rather just give away! 3y
Evelien I like lending books to people. Especially when i recommened the book. But i always ask for my book back. 3y
BookNAround I would prefer to buy someone their own copy because I feel rather queasy lending books. 3y
RaimeyGallant I make them take a picture with the book. 3y
RaimeyGallant ...so I have a record. :) 3y
Bookworm-Bobbie I will only lend books to @EmmaPlum. I don't trust anyone else! I never get them back. 3y
AmyG I lend to very few people. Unless I don't care if I get the book back. There used to be a "book section" at our recycling center. I'd pick up good ones to lend. People are always asking me what to read. 3y
DimeryRene I love lending! But I do always keep a record and I'm known to follow up quite frequently. :/ 3y
Cspen113 When people talk about borrowing my books I get SO quiet and really just want to close my eyes and pretend they're not talking. 😑😑😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣. I usually do let them borrow them though. 3y
RealBooks4ever Completely understand! You are smart to take a picture!! 😄 3y
MysticRaven03 I'm the same way!! There have been way too many times when books weren't returned, or the were returned damaged 😔 3y
CindyMyLifeIsLit That's not weird--it's smart! 3y
LauraBrook I'm the same way! I used to lend more often, but after some U.K. books never made it back to me (and the person said first that they gave them back and then that they never borrowed them), I stopped cold turkey. There is only 1 friend I lend too (she knows what a Nazi I am about my books), and my Mom, who sort of made me this way. 3y
DeleteAcct No not weird. Anytime people come over I privately think to myself that I hope they don't want to borrow my books! Probably terrible but not weird. 😈 3y
webhau1 I do think if they are your best friend it would be fun to share the stories and talk about the books 3y
minkyb Not weird. I wish I didn't feel so badly about not lending but I've been burned too many times. The picture is a great idea! 3y
erzascarletbookgasm I feel you. Booknerd 'problems' ! 3y
Lizpixie Nope, not at all. I have a Personal Lending Library Kit which has the old style pockets & index cards for the books, and when someone borrows a book (and only people I trust implicitly!) I give the book a pocket, stamp the date I want it returned by, and on the card write their name, phone number and date they borrowed it. If they're not happy with that, they don't get the book, simple. I've been burned way too many times. 3y
elkeo_TheBookDragon Nope. Never. I do NOT lend books. 3y
cherinium I have no problem lending books. I have lost a few along the way, but I can always replace a book if it's one I really want to have. 📖 3y
116 likes33 comments
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MoniMaccheronis
Die Kapitel meines Herzens | Catherine Lowell
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Ein Roman aus der Tiefe des Herzens... Voller Gefühl und Literatur, für die das geschriebene Wort lieben ♥ und wieder eintauchen wollen in einen gewaltigen Sturm, der hoffentlich niemals vergeht #Sturmhöhe #emilyundcharlotte #unvergessen

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bookdrunkard78
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Pickpick

This was my pick for my monthly book club with @Patrella . I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

Patrella Yay! I'm glad you liked it! 3y
Bette Loved it too. 👍😊❤️ 3y
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tea.n.books
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Bailedbailed

I picked this up because of the Brönte connection, hoping it would be like The Historian or A Discovery of Witches.. What I got was a main character who snarks about every other female character and is shocked that she got into Oxford on the coat tails of her familial connection to the Bröntes when she wore sneakers to her application interview ?I didn't even make it ten minutes in..

Caterina Sounds awful! 3y
1 like1 comment
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Brinx
Madwoman Upstairs | Catherine Lowell
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Pickpick

I liked it, though I was constantly trying to make parallels between this book and Jane Eyre.

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heatherkaz
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Target #bookhaul

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Brinx
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Jane Eyre is one of my most beloved books

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Patrella
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Took a cross-stitching class at the library tonight for our nerdy girl date night. Believe it or not, that little canvas is going to grow up to be a rocket ship someday! Also, started our BFF book for March, and though I'm only a few pages in, I think I'm really going to like it!

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Paperback.Propensity
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"You are desperately alone and I'm afraid that this is what desperately alone people do - you attach significance to imaginary things to ease your sense of emptiness"

Tanzy13 🐱 3y
15 likes1 comment
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Traveler13
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Thank you Thank you Thank you! #cupidgoespostal so much excitement after a looong day at work.
Thanks

a.shelf.life Glad you liked it!!! 3y
BookishMarginalia That's such an enjoyable book! 3y
Traveler13 And color my own Shakespeare bookmarks were stuck inside the package!! 3y
Laalaleighh I LOVE this book!!! I wish I had this edition! Great cover! (edited) 3y
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tpixie
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Great quote. Enjoying this book. Glad I read Agnes Grey, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Jane Eyre first. But that isn't necessary to enjoy this book. I didn't reread Wuthering Heights and it didn't really matter.

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tpixie
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"The only thing you own in this world is your own reputation, Samantha. Don't let it be tampered with."

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tpixie
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I'll never look 👀 at bacon 🥓 the same!

8little_paws That's a GREAT quote! 3y
51 likes2 comments
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tpixie
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Yes! Marry a man for his library 📚!

Robothugs 😂 3y
tpixie @Robothugs right? 😂😂 3y
Robothugs It wouldn't hurt his chances if he did! 😝😂 3y
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tpixie @Robothugs 💕📚💕😂 3y
Zelma But could we skip the smoked animal smell? 3y
tpixie @Zelma lol I know!! This character /narrator says funny weird things like that 3y
Nebklvr Much better than some other reasons! 3y
tpixie @Nebklvr yes there are worse reasons to marry! 3y
64 likes8 comments
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everfree7
Pickpick

Loved it so much! Perfection!

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everfree7

Loving this book!! Literary thrillers are my favorite.

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everfree7
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When you're fifteen pages in and love it already...this will be a good book!!

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LauraJ
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Anyone want to take credit/blame for any of these #lastbookstacked choices? I need to read faster. #seasonsreadings2016

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autumnlupin
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Pickpick

Definitely worth a read through! I agree with @BookishMarginalia about the descriptions, and sometimes Samantha sounds exactly how old people think all millennials are like, and I could have also done without the romantic subplot at the end.... But I swear it's worth the read.

13 likes1 comment
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BookishMarginalia
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Mehso-so

I wish I could say I loved this book. There are certainly many things I did love: the Bronte connection, the discussions about reading and meaning, the Oxford setting... but there were some misses: the Rebecca character (really? What's up with her?), the romance (never rang true), and some clunky descriptions and descriptors about them (elephantine shoulders? Marble stomach? 🤦🏻‍♀️). Still an enjoyable reading experience, though. ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jas16 I had the exact same reaction to this one. 3y
B.Reader It sounds perhaps like more of a book that has fun stuff about book loving instead of a good story in itself. Would that be fair to say? I've enjoyed a lot of the quotes you've posted but had previously returned it for my audible credit after just one chapter. 3y
Leelee.reads Great review. Sounds like a "check out from library" not a "buy with birthday money" book." Good to know! 3y
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Imagineannie Good review. Probably not for me, and that's good to know! 3y
Nuwanda Glad I borrowed from the library then! I'm almost 20% of the way and enjoying but not necessarily loving it. 3y
amycollard I totally agree, I felt the exact same way! 3y
kspenmoll Thanks for your review!!! 3y
tpixie I'm still thinking about this book- I have Bookclub tomorrow. this love story relationship isn't healthy. I also think Jane Eyre and Rochester's relationship isn't healthy. he wasn't very nice and he was married! And in W heights there were lots of UNhealthy male treatment of females. All the men seem to be gruff and grumpy and not really kind. i think this love story Is similar to the ones in the Brontë sisters books- one I don't want! 3y
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BookishMarginalia
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The power of literature to console and to transcend. #Truth 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼

BookishBlonde12 🙌🏻🙌🏻 3y
pitterpainter 💛✨ 3y
MrBook 😎👌🏻 3y
115 likes2 stack adds3 comments