A Buzzfeed Most Anticipated Book of the Year • A The Millions Most Anticipated Book of the Year
"A massively entertaining and slyly enlightening story nestled inside another story like a ghost within its host." —Kathleen Rooney, author of Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey and Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
In this provocative meditation on new motherhood—Shirley Jackson meets The Awakening—a postpartum woman’s psychological unraveling becomes intertwined with the ghostly appearance of children’s book writer Margaret Wise Brown.
There’s a madwoman upstairs, and only Megan Weiler can see her.
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).
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“Like only truly good fiction can, Fine weaves the hilarity and horror, and in a truly original story she explores the ways that we lose ourselves in parenthood, academia, and unhealthy romantic relationships.”
“Illustrates how the rational and the mythic, the tangible and intangible, intertwine to fully tell a woman’s story.”
— Boston Globe
“A masterpiece of juggling multiple genres and themes…A novel you’ll think about for weeks after turning the last page.”
— Chicago Review of Books
Winner of the Chicago Review of Books Award
A Good Morning America Selection
A PopSugar Pick of Must-Reads
A New York Times Book Review pick of Best Books Now in Paperback
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About Julia Fine
Julia Fine teaches writing at DePaul University and is a graduate of Columbia College Chicago’s MFA program.
About Courtney Patterson
Courtney Patterson graduated magna cum laude with a BA in theater performance from Valdosta State University. She is an associate artist at Georgia Shakespeare where she has appeared in dozens of shows, taught in the education department, and developed a cabaret series. She can also be seen frequently on the stages of the Alliance Theatre and has also worked at the Aurora Theatre, Theatre in the Square, Theatrical Outfit, Synchronicity Performance Group, and the Horizon Theatre. In addition to her work on stage, she narrates audiobooks and performs in film and television.