Eleanor, Richard and their two young daughters recently stretched themselves to the limit to buy their dream home, a four-bedroom Victorian townhouse in East London. But the cracks are already starting to show.
Eleanor is unnerved by the eerie atmosphere in the house and becomes convinced it is making her ill. Whilst Richard remains preoccupied with Zoe, their mercurial 27-year-old lodger, Eleanor becomes determined to unravel the mystery of the house's previous owners - including Emily, whose name is written hundreds of times on the walls of the upstairs room.
Finished this book, constantly awaiting the spooky chiller that other readers had described. It can not seriously be described as a ghost story as the other worldly goings on are overshadowed by the crumbling relationship of the two main characters. Long descriptions of their past that I felt had no bearing on what I assumed this book would be about!
It's well written but ultimately more about depressing relationships than anything supernatural, hence my utter disappointment and the feeling that I wish I hadn't bothered.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The Upstairs Room again? Why?
No I wouldn't listen again. I have mixed feelings about this book. I was expecting something a little more spooky. I really enjoyed reading about the 'weird' things that were going on, the upstairs room, the writing on the walls, Eleanor's illness, Zoe's sleepwalking - but I don't really feel like we ever got to the bottom of why that was happening?! Was it the house, was there something in the house, was it just coincidence?!
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
I found the narration a bit irritating. I don't feel like the voices portrayed by the narrator fitted the characters.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I loved this book. Beautifully written with believable characters, so real with their flaws. I loved that the author avoided any cliché actions and emotions, although the story is quite common her character building made this novel original for me.
This really isn’t a bad book, it’s written very well. It’s just not what it ‘says on the tin’. It’s not a ghost story, not a thriller, not even really a mystery. It’s a character driven drama. Characters are well defined, realistic and interesting. She’s really managed to capture the nuances of modern life and dissatisfaction with it, which isn’t easy to do. It’s actually quite a pleasant ‘read’. I did feel a tad let down purely because I was hoping for a great creepy thriller of a read as the nights are drawing in, but that’s down to marketing and in no way the writing. I’d definitely read more from the author as there’s nothing wrong with the book. The blurb and synopsis just don’t reflect the novel and I doubt very much these were written by the author herself. The narrator was great too :)
But that's as far as it goes. I was waiting for at least a hint of a ghost story but this is basically about relationships. Imogen Church is the only reason I listened until the end, had I had a physical copy I wouldn't have gotten that far
Loved this book enjoyed getting to know the characters and liked the ending. Best book I've heard in a while we'll done
I kept returning to listen to tbis every evening. I suppose I was hooked. thinking about my next opportunity to consume more of this strange tale.
I only rated this book 1/5 stars because I found it very boring. The idea of the ghost story sounded intriguing but all the flashbacks to the early lives of the characters were drawn out and unnecessary and have no bearing on the main story whatsoever. It was flat and didn't really go anywhere. I was really disappointed. The narrator put on different voices for each character which I found really irritating. I would not recommend this book and I doubt I would read another book by this author or one narrated by this person.
Excellent storyline - very different and thought provoking. Well written with believable characters.
Impeccably narrated by Imogen Church.
What would have made The Upstairs Room better?
I had two problems with this book: first problem was that I rarely had any idea what was happening at any point in the narrative or how the pieces connected together to create a coherent story; second problem was that I didn't care what was happening. So, needs more clarity around storying and a more interesting/engaging subject matter/character set.
What was most disappointing about Kate Murray-Browne’s story?
I should have known from the outline that the story was silly, so disappointed in my choice.
What do you think the narrator could have done better?
Narrator was generally ok.
What character would you cut from The Upstairs Room?