June Meetup: The Woman Upstairs

Note: RSVPs for this meetup open at 7pm on the Monday after our May meetup.

For our June meetup, we are reading The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud. This novel was just published last year and is available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook (Kindle/Nook). The hardcover version is 273 pages.

The GoodReads blurb is

Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is on the verge of disappearing. Having abandoned her desire to be an artist, she has become the "woman upstairs," a reliable friend and tidy neighbour always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks a new pupil, Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents--dashing Skandar, a half-Muslim Professor of Ethical History born in Beirut, and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist--have come to America for Skandar to teach at Harvard.

But one afternoon, Reza is attacked by schoolyard bullies who punch, push and call him a "terrorist," and Nora is quickly drawn deep into the complex world of the Shahid family. Soon she finds herself falling in love with them, separately and together. Nora's happiness explodes her boundaries--until Sirena's own ambition leads to a shattering betrayal.

Written with intimacy and piercing emotion, this urgently dispatched story of obsession and artistic fulfillment explores the thrill--and the devastating cost--of giving in to one's passions. The Woman Upstairs is a masterly story of America today, of being a woman and of the exhilarations of love.

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  • Robin

    I really enjoy this group!

    June 16

  • Aldo S.

    Priceless.

    June 16

  • Beth H

    We learned today that it is rude to beat off on someone else's art.

    2 · June 15

  • carolyn M.

    Great discussion!

    June 15

  • Aldo S.

    Another great discussion. What a great book club.

    1 · June 15

  • Sue

    Sorry to cancel last minute but just lost a pet and my head is definitely not in the game right now.

    June 14

    • Vi

      So sorry to hear that Sue. My condolences.

      June 14

    • Sue

      Thanks, Everyone, for your kind words!

      June 14

  • Faith R.

    Hi guys. I have briefly surfaced and have been looking forward to discussing a good book, but my life has taken another screwy turn and I've got to go somewhere tomorrow and straighten things out. So hopefully I will be serene by next meeting and see you all then. Take care All

    June 14

  • Faith R.

    Sue, I am so sorry . My 13-year old dog, Stanley, is battling so I can understand where you are. If you need anything, send me an email and I will help. Take care and see you soon

    June 14

  • Craig

    Thanks, Lisa. See what happens when Vi isn't around? ;-)

    April 23

  • Lisa A.

    I was good & changed my rsvp to No. :-)

    April 23

  • Craig

    Yeah, you guys shouldn't have been able to sign up yet.

    April 23

  • Lisa A.

    This isn't in May, though, correct? A bit confused.

    April 23

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