Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday--Claire Messud's New Novel

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly feature of the Breaking the Spine blog.  It's a great way to share information about a forthcoming book with other readers.
This week's anticipated book:
The Woman Upstairs
The Woman Upstairs
by Claire Messud
Publication Date:  April 30, 2013
Publisher:  Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Preorder now from online and bricks and mortar bookstores
From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own.

Nora Eldridge, an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, long ago compromised her dream to be a successful artist, mother and lover. She has instead become the “woman upstairs,” a reliable friend and neighbor always on the fringe of others’ achievements. Then into her life arrives the glamorous and cosmopolitan Shahids—her new student Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale, and his parents: Skandar, a dashing Lebanese professor who has come to Boston for a fellowship at Harvard, and Sirena, an effortlessly alluring Italian artist.

When Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies, Nora is drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family; she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora’s happiness explodes her boundaries, and she discovers in herself an unprecedented ferocity—one that puts her beliefs and her sense of self at stake.

Told with urgency, intimacy and piercing emotion, this brilliant novel of passion and artistic fulfillment explores the intensity, thrill—and the devastating cost—of embracing an authentic life.

My thoughts:  I was granted access yesterday to an electronic advanced reader copy of this novel and was so curious that I read the first few pages.  The narrator draws the reader in immediately with an honest emotional rendition of her current state of mind.  The loyal, helpful Nora expresses a level of anger that is palpable...and what woman amongst us hasn't felt put upon, used, or taken advantage of in a relationship at one time or another, or felt constrained by society's conditioning and expectations?  I can't wait to read more of this story.

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Waiting on Wednesday--Claire Messud's New Novel was originally published by Catherine for This post cannot be republished without attribution.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for the feedback, Diane. This one has bestseller written all over it!

  2. This sounds really interesting. Thanks for sharing and thanks for stopping by my WOW!


  3. I love the look and sound of this one! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  4. This sounds like it would be a great book club pick too. Have a great week reading :)

  5. I have her other novel, The Emperor's Children, but I haven't read it yet. This one is on my TBR as well, glad to hear you're enjoying the first few pages already!
    My WoW Pick!

  6. You have me so curious about this, from the synopsis to your testament about how it drew you in..wonderful pick! My WoW

  7. The blurb has me intrigued. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on it!