Louise Welsh's The Girl on the Stairs: [*spoiler alert—it's hard not to*] I had high hopes (bad move) of this novel with its alluring sub-heading: A Masterful Psychological Thriller. I have just read, courtesy of Wikipedia, that the Guardian/Observer review for this book (see it here for a 'real' review) likened it to a combination of The Yellow Wallpaper and Rear Window. Amazingly astute. And I am glad, again, that I didn't read that prior to the actual book: my expectations would have increased exponentially, and the disappointment in the text would have created an even larger gap. It does have elements of those two great stories: a 'hysterical' confinement, psychosis, obsession, voyeurism, suspicion, paranoia. But there is something about it that doesn't work. Unlikeable characters? A repetitive basis for what seems unjustifiable paranoia? A denouement which then justifies the protagonist's fears but isn't substantiated or clarified? I think I would have preferred it if she had actually been wrong all along. That ending would have elevated all the paranoia and erratic behaviour to a meaningful level. Hey, I would have found that a good book! Just my opinion. Good reads has it at 3.31 stars. It got two from me.
Who wore it better?
Getting linky today with: