Interact With the Dead in the Atypical Ghost Story “Rooms”
YA author Lauren Oliver’s new adult fiction novel Rooms revolves around the intersection of the world of the living and the world of the dead.
Trenton Walker’s wealthy father has just passed away and he left everything to his family, even though they were estranged. In the gloomy country house, ghosts lurk and they attempt to communicate with the family by dimming a light bulb or making creepy creaking sounds on the stairs. However, the ghosts’ quiet and snarky observations on the Walker family get interrupted when a new ghost appears. Not only does this new spirit upset the delicate balance between the living and the dead, but all the painful truth that both mortal and ghoul are hiding are exposed to the light.
What’s interesting about Oliver’s novel is that it’s free of clichés. The ghosts are mere observers who keenly know what it’s like to feel pain, disappointments, and regrets. The real heart and soul of her novel is the family drama. Trenton watches as his mother internally drowns in her own bitterness and his sister bristles with anger.
Rooms takes the usual spine-tingling traditional ghost stories and gives them new life by turning them into a novel about how secrets and a dysfunctional family can leave scars on one’s soul for eternity.