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
Rooms, like a good wine needs to be savoured and enjoyed at a slow pace. To rush through this glorious tale would be a waste of a good read.
When Richard Walker dies, his family come together and secrets, regrets and mystery take them on a revelatory experience that will essentially free them all.
The ‘ghosts’of the house have their own tales and all of the characters are quite dysfunctional. They each play a part that helps this story with the suspense and the uncovering of the traumatic events that each of them have had in their lives.
Not a conventional ghost story, there are no ‘Whoo whoo’ moments but Rooms, so called as the book is written as it passes through the house, is rather brilliant. It has a charming old-fashionedness about it, and is filled with sadness and is quite touching at times.
I loved Lauren Olivers book and think she has written a one that is quite different from the normal ghost stories. It is a clever plot and one that I think most readers will enjoy.