‘The Party Upstairs’ by Lee Conell: Where Expectations Meet a Harsh Reality

by Nessa Ordukhani

Lee Conell’s first novel, The Party Upstairs (308 pages; Penguin Random House), is a provocative testament to class division and the boundless nature of self-absorbance. Alternating between the perspectives of Ruby and her father, Martin, Conell offers us a glimpse into a microcosm of New York where tensions are high, and resentment seems inevitable. Ruby, saddled with a niche degree and few job prospects, is forced to move back to her childhood home—the basement in an Upper West Side apartment building where her father is the super. Martin, exhausted by life and desperate for a moment of peace, must continue […]

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