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The Woman Upstairs

Claire Messud

The author of The Emperor’s Children (2006) returns with the terrifying story of a teacher whose life changes when she becomes involved with the family of a new student named Reza Shahid. Nora Eldridge is an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who gave up her dream of becoming an artist, mother, and lover. Now, she’s just the “woman upstairs." But when the Shahid family arrives from Paris, including Reza’s professor father, Skandar, and her Italian artist mother, Sirena, Nora falls in love with all of them--until the Shahids betray her. “How angry am I?” she rethorically asks. "You don’t want to know.”