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Mirkat Always Reading

I'm always reading something, usually multiple books at a time.


Rooms - Lauren Oliver

Richard Walker's death is the impetus for the temporary return of his estranged family:  ex-wife Caroline, adult daughter Minna, teenage son Trenton, and granddaughter Amy.  All arrive at the house for the reading of the will and the memorial.  But the Walker family are not alone in the house.  Alice and Sandra are two ghosts who are bound to the house, having both died there in different decades.  Alice and Sandra are both first-person narrators for their chapters, while the various members of the Walker family are narrated in third person, from each character's perspective. 


It has been ten years since Caroline moved out with Minna and Trenton, and the ghosts are excited to see them all again.  As ghosts, they have become a part of the house--the house has become a surrogate body for them.  They have no choice but to see and hear everything that happens in the house, and they have fond memories of the children.


All the characters have secrets, and there are multiple mysteries, amongst both the living and the dead.  Caroline copes with her anger and loneliness by staying drunk.  Minna keeps her demons at bay through lots of sex with men she doesn't know.  Trenton, awkward and sixteen, contemplates suicide and begins to be able to hear the ghosts.  Alice and Sandra, despite their constant togetherness, have kept certain mysteries to themselves. To add more turmoil to the mix, a missing girl is being sought in the area, and a confused young ghost has suddenly arrived alongside Alice and Sandra.  Might she be the runaway?


This book was an unusual take on the ghost story, and I really enjoyed it--so much so that after having listed to the audiobook, I've checked out the text version and crawled back into its world for another visit.  Lauren Oliver is proving to be a versatile author, and I'm definitely going to be seeking out more of her work.