Julia FineJan 17, 2022
The Upstairs House
Today I had the pleasure of talking to Julia Fine about her new book The Upstairs House: A Novel (Harper Collins, 2021). We talked about a lot of things, including how Goodnight Moon is surreal and how one decides to become a novelist. Here's a bit about the book...
Ravaged and sore from giving birth to her first child, Megan is mostly raising her newborn alone while her husband travels for work. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, she's also wracked with guilt over her unfinished dissertation--a thesis on mid-century children's literature.
Enter a new upstairs neighbor: the ghost of quixotic children's book writer Margaret Wise Brown--author of the beloved classic Goodnight Moon--whose existence no one else will acknowledge. It seems Margaret has unfinished business with her former lover, the once-famous socialite and actress Michael Strange, and is determined to draw Megan into the fray. As Michael joins the haunting, Megan finds herself caught in the wake of a supernatural power struggle--and until she can find a way to quiet these spirits, she and her newborn daughter are in terrible danger.
Using Megan's postpartum haunting as a powerful metaphor for a woman's fraught relationship with her body and mind, Julia Fine once again delivers an imaginative and "barely restrained, careful musing on female desire, loneliness, and hereditary inheritances" (Washington Post).
Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.