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 ofThe 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.
Lauren Oliver is the author of the New York Times bestselling YA novels Before I Fall, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem. Her books have been translated into thirty languages. She is also the author of two novels for middle-grade readers, The Spindlers and Liesl & Po, which was a 2012 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award nominee. Lauren's first adult novel, Rooms, will be published in September 2014. A graduate of the University of Chicago and NYU's MFA program, Lauren Oliver is also the co-founder of the boutique literary development company Paper Lantern Lit. You can visit her online at www.laurenoliverbooks.com
Interview with Lauren Oliver
GC:How do you name your characters?
LO: The main characters usually just introduce themselves to me. It's the funniest thing--I can't think of where they come from; they just pop into my head, often with random names (Bishop, anyone??). For the ancillary characters, I use a tried and true writer's trick...baby naming websites!
GC: Did you find your process had to change writing Rooms for an adult-target audience when you previously wrote for children and young adults?
LO: The process, methodologically speaking, is the same for every book. I write my way in, trying to get a sense of the world and its characters, and then I take a step back and try to figure out the narrative--what the book is, what the major tensions are, what I'm trying to say. On a deeper level, every novel is different, presents different challenges, and offers different opportunities.
GC: You've written a standalone young adult novel, a series for YA readers, two middle grade novels and now ROOMS! Is a picture book in your future?
LO: Ha! Never say never. :) But for the moment, I have a full slate of more YA, more middle grade, and hopefully more adult novels! So I'm very happy.