The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane --a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.Read more...
The New York Times bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy makes her brilliant adult debut with this mesmerizing story in the tradition of The Lovely Bones, Her Fearful Symmetry, and The Ocean at the End of the Lane--a tale of family, ghosts, secrets, and mystery, in which the lives of the living and the dead intersect in shocking, surprising, and moving ways.
Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family--bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton, and unforgiving daughter Minna--have arrived for their inheritance.
But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory, and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself--in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.
The living and dead are each haunted by painful truths that will soon surface with explosive force. When a new ghost appears, and Trenton begins to communicate with her, the spirit and human worlds collide--with cataclysmic results.
Elegantly constructed and brilliantly paced, Rooms is an enticing and imaginative ghost story and a searing family drama that is as haunting as it is resonant.
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When the walls can talk
Like all good scary stories, Rooms begins with a death. When Richard Walker passes away, his estranged family must return to the erstwhile family home to sift through a household—and lifetime—of memories and belongings. But Richard’s ex-wife Caroline and troubled children, Trenton and Minna, are not alone as they work to rid the house of the traces of the man who once lived there: Their actions and emotions are acutely observed by two former residents of the home, Alice and Sandra, each so different from the other, yet both bound to the house by dreadful tragedies.
Although death has sought to rob the two women of their voices, they manage to subtly communicate beyond the grave through the house itself, from the creak of a floorboard to the rattling of the shutters. As both the living and dead struggle to carry the burdens of the past, long-buried secrets are brought to light and the barriers between the two worlds begin to soften, resulting in explosive consequences.
Although author Lauren Oliver has had success as a YA novelist, it can be tricky making the transition to an older audience. But Rooms is written with grace and confidence, and packs the emotional wallop of someone unafraid of tackling difficult and delicate issues. Rooms doesn’t scare so much as haunt, and for a tale narrated in part by ghosts, it is remarkably full of life. Utterly captivating and electric, this richly atmospheric ghost story is excellent reading.