"Messud has many gifts as a novelist: She writes well, dramatizes, has a sharp ear, a literary critic's knack for marshaling and reverberating themes and, most crucially, a broad and deep empathy that enables her to portray a wide range of characters from the inside. . . . "The Woman Upstairs" is first-rate: It asks unsettling, unanswerable questions: How much do those who are not our family or our partners really owe us? How close can we really be to them before we start to become needy or creepy? The characters are fully alive." --John Broening, "The Denver Post"
"Messud is a tremendously smart, accomplished writer, [and] Nora's fury explodes from the very first sentence of "The Woman Upstairs. ." . . The novel gives a voiceless woman a chance to howl." --Yvonne Zipp, "The Christian Science Monitor "
"Engrossing . . . Think of her as the woman who leans out: the A student who puts others' needs first, plays by the rules, teaches instead of doing. Through the ensuing drama, which includes one of the more shocking betrayals in recent fiction, Messud raises questions about women's still-circumscribed roles and the price of success." --Kim Hubbard, "People" (A "People's" Pick)
"Messud's account of [Nora's] search for recognition and release is as tight and vivid as Nora's pent-up passion. I was pulled in." --Mary Rawson, "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette"
"Messud's crystallization of how it feels to crash into a midlife reckoning that resonated most and haunted me in the days after finishing her mesmerizing novel. . . . It boils and 'burns, ' and Messud gives us a double whammy to ensure we feel the pangs of midlife. . . . Messud is most interested in the collision between our inner lives and our reality. . . . While it was Messud's achingly beautiful characters that drew me in, it was her portrait of an inner life free to swell, untethered to the realities of children, a spouse and a mortgage that made me think. Seeing Nora live so obsessively inshow more